SOMERVILLE, NJ  - The new Department of Motor Vehicles Office in South Plainfield is scheduled to open May 14 -  not a day too soon for residents who live in the neighborhood adjacent to the local DMV office on Roosevelt Place.

B. Sue Fulton, the newly-sworn director of the state DMV visited the Somerville facility Saturday at the  invitation of state Sen. Christopher Kip Bateman (R-Somerset,Hunterdon,Mercer,Middlesex) for a first-hand look at the chronic parking problems and illegally parked cars  that wreak havoc on Saturdays, and Tuesday nights when the office has extended hours.

Fulton assured Bateman, Mayor Ellen Brain and other officials that the new DMV facility in South Plainfield should help alleviate the crush of traffic and customers in Somerville.

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On Monday, just two days after her visit, Bateman and other state legislators received official notification from Fulton that the new facility would open in South Plainfield on May 14.

Fulton’s letter reads:

Dear Legislator:

"I would like to take the opportunity to share with you information regarding the Motor Vehicle Commission’s (MVC) new South Plainfield Agency.

"As you know, the lease for the South Plainfield Agency expired on May 31, 2017 and we were advised that the landlord of this property did not wish to renew the lease to the State of New Jersey; therefore, we were asked to vacate the property.  To that end, the previous South Plainfield Agency closed permanently on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.

"I am very pleased to advise you that our new, modernized South Plainfield Agency is tentatively scheduled to open on Monday, May 14, 2018.  The new agency is located at 5000 Hadley Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080.  The internal layout of the site was designed around our new business process to better serve our customers.  The building supports improved technology with updated phone, data, and security wiring.  In addition, the facility has additional agency counter windows and ID check stations, increased parking availability, and is easily accessible from Route 287.

"First and foremost, our mission is to be the model for excellence in motor vehicle services.  Therefore, I am pleased to provide the residents of Middlesex County with efficient, courteous and convenient motor vehicle services.  I assure you that the MVC remains focused on improving operations in every area of our business.  The opening of the new South Plainfield Agency demonstrates our continued commitment to meeting the needs of our customers.”

Problems have cropped up on Roosevelt Place and adjacent streets since the closure of the previous South Plainfield DMV facility last year.

Somerville Police receive calls on a daily basis from residents complaining about the traffic, horns honking, and cars parked where they should not be – blocking driveways, and sometimes, in their driveways.

In March, Somerville police issued 70 tickets to motorists parked illegally.

Fulton said many customers will now use the South Plainfield facility; she estimates the volume of traffic and customers in Somerville will be reduced by 25 percent.

Fulton also said during her visit on Saturday that the state DMV is looking at alternate sites with the intent of moving the local DMV facility out of Somerville.

“That’s the ultimate solution,” Bateman said, offering a possible alternative site.

“The Walmart store that closed in Readington on Route 22, that has a big parking lot and is on a main artery,” Bateman said.