the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Lodi Nj, Senator Anthony M. Bucco said the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) has failed to respond to his repeated requests to produce an overview of their reopening plan to demonstrate they will have sufficient capacity to handle a surge in customers that should be expected after agency offices have been closed for months.
“Most of our NJMVC agencies are mobbed on a good day with waiting times that can last hours,” said Bucco (R-25). “Unless they prepare a battle plan and significantly increase staffing for reopening, they should expect to be overwhelmed by many thousands of people who have waited months to get driver’s licenses, transfer titles, and conduct other critical transactions that cannot be completed online. I’ve been warning them for weeks to try to prevent a repeat of the staffing failures that led to our unemployment system being overwhelmed, but it doesn’t appear that anyone is listening.”
NJMVC agencies were closed on March 15th in response to COVID-19. After several extensions, the closures of agencies and inspections facilities will continue until at least June 8th.
“After nearly three months of being closed, it should be obvious that NJMVC agencies are going to get crushed upon reopening,” said Bucco. “I’ve been trying to alert the administration to this disaster that’s looming at the NJMVC, and just like they did with nursing homes and unemployment, they refuse to heed the warnings.”
Bucco sent a pair of messages to NJMVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton on May 7th and May 19th that have gone answered. In the letters, he urged the NJMVC to explain if it had a plan for extra staffing, to share the plan if one exists, and offered recommendations that could shift significant volume away from NJMVC agencies.
“Not only has the NJMVC failed to demonstrate a plan for reopening as a I requested, they didn’t even acknowledge my outreach or concerns,” added Bucco. “Time and again, legislators from both parties have tried to help the governor to protect the New Jerseyans we all serve, and time and again the administration retreats into its bunker while everyone else gets shelled. It’s unbelievable.”