Bills focus on New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission wait times

November 11, 2020

Keith Goble

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Multiple new laws and bills introduced at the New Jersey statehouse are intended to provide relief for motorists and truck drivers who must visit Motor Vehicle Commission facilities to conduct business.

Sen. Anthony Bucco, R-Boonton, said changes are needed to address “extensive delays” at MVC facilities.

“The delays and congestion at MVC are inexcusable,” Bucco said in prepared remarks.

He added that “simple tweaks” covered in legislation could help New Jersey residents get needed services.

“Long before the coronavirus became an issue, the operations at these agencies were dysfunctional,” Bucco said. “It’s time for the Legislature to address these chronic problems.”

New laws

Gov. Phil Murphy has signed into law a bill to help drivers avoid commission sites and to reduce lines.

A4486 authorizes the MVC to extend the time that a stored driver’s license or identification card photo can be used from eight years to 12 years. Additionally, drivers over the age of 65 are allowed to use stored photos indefinitely.

Bucco said the bill he co-sponsored would allow more drivers to renew their licenses online and skip making a trip to the MVC simply to renew their photo.

A separate new law, A4520, allows people who move to New Jersey from other states during the pandemic up to four months to obtain a New Jersey driver’s license and to register their vehicle.

Bucco said the changes are a step in the right direction to address long waits at commission sites.

“It’s not a full solution to all of the problems that plague the MVC, but it’s progress that will help many drivers.”

Bills on the move

The Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee has voted to advance a bill to require the state to reimburse municipalities for police costs related to crowding at MVC sites.

Bucco said police are needed at facilities to control long lines and to address traffic safety concerns that have resulted in “skyrocketing costs for municipalities.”

The bill would appropriate $500 million from New Jersey’s portion of federal CARES Act funding to cover costs.

S2762 now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

The Senate voted unanimously to advance a separate bill that would provide a two-month grace period for new drivers who passed their road tests to wait to get their probationary drivers’ license.

The bill, A4442, now moves to the governor’s desk. House lawmakers already approved it by unanimous consent.

Also of note

One bill in the Senate Transportation Committee, S2756, would reduce lines at MVC sites by allowed licensed motor vehicle dealers to process titles and registrations for used vehicles purchased through private sales.

Another bill in the Senate Transportation Committee would allow drivers to schedule appointments for service at all MVC locations. Appointments could be set through the commission’s website.

The legislation, S3107, states for instances where the first available appointment scheduled by a customer to renew a document that is set to expire, the expiration date of the document would be extended until the time and date of the appointment.

The MVC would also be required to issue the customer documentation as proof that the document expiration has been extended until the date of the scheduled appointment. LL

More Land Line coverage of news from New Jersey is available.

Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.