NEW JERSEY — Following reports of excessive wait times at New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission stations statewide, including 200 people waiting outside the MVC station in Springfield earlier this week, the state has extended the deadline for renewals in an effort to limit the public’s exposure to coronavirus.
Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the two-month extension for residents who have their driver’s license, auto registrations and vehicle inspections due for renewal May 31.
“This is being done to reduce the number of customers needed to visit MVC during this emergency,” Murphy said at his Friday press briefing. “So, anyone facing a March 31 expiration will have until May 31.” The two-month extension will also apply to renewals coming due in April and May, Murphy said.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Westfield, had lobbied the governor for the extension earlier this week after constituents reported the excessive wait times to him. As reported by TAPinto, those wait times included a Westfield family’s seven-hour-long ordeal at the MVC and a South Orange teenager’s nearly six-hour long wait.
“I would like to thank Governor Murphy for extending the expiration date of driver’s licenses, vehicle registrations and car inspections,” Bramnick said in a statement Friday. “This extension will provide New Jersey residents relief from long wait times at MVC facilities.”
The MVC had blamed the excessive wait times on the implementation of the federal requirement for driver’s licenses with increased security measures, known as Real ID.
The Department of Homeland Security has set the deadline for nationwide adoption of Real ID for Oct. 1. While the DHS had announced phased enforcement of the new identification program in 2013, New Jersey has yet to meet the requirement and is “under review” for enforcement of the requirement, according to the DHS website.
Except for Oregon and Oklahoma, which have received extensions for implementation of Real ID, the nation’s 47 other states comply with the requirement for increased security, according to the DHS.
On Friday, Murphy said he has written to the federal government with a request to extend the Oct. 1 deadline for Real ID enforcement.
“That is a strong plea and I think a very fair request on behalf of the nation’s governors,” Murphy said. “And we will keep you posted on any progress there.”
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