HAZLET, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Thursday marked the third day of madness at New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission offices.
In one location, long lines drove away business at local shops already struggling, CBS2’s Lisa Rozner reported.
And to make the situation even more tense, Gov. Phil Murphy announced camping out outside the MVC has been banned state-wide, adding, once capacity is reached, people will have to wait until 7 a.m. the next day.
Murphy also said documents that expired between March and May have been extended until the end of September.
Earlier, people waiting on interminably long lines expressed their continued frustration.
“This is my fourth day,” said Robert Stewart of Atlantic Highlands.
All week, the crowds in Hazlet have lined the perimeter of the strip mall off Route 36, standing less than six feet from people trying to enjoy an outdoor meal at the Perkins Restaurant.
“It was mayhem, very few masks, no distancing,” said Carole Ahlers of Keyport.
Other businesses in the area already struggling include a liquor store, laundromat, and bagel store.
“The parking lot was getting so full with Motor Vehicle customers that we didn’t think our customers could find a place to park,” laundromat employee Kevin Shelly said.
“I had a couple conversations with the manager at MVC. They’re trying to do their best, but there’s only so much control. It has to go to Trenton,” Perkins owner Mike Marshall said.
One person blamed Gov. Murphy, saying, “He screwed up.”
Prior to his announcement Tuesday afternoon, Murphy had only offered to open the MVC on Saturdays starting next week and un-furlough workers.
Rozner was again told the head of the MVC, B. “Sue” Fulton, was too busy for an interview.
“They’re incompetent and they should be removed from the position,” Stewart said.
Now when the Hazlet MVC location opens, workers are handing out 250 tickets. That means business along the strip can expect crowds all morning, Rozner reported.
“We don’t wanna block the businesses, but at the same time I don’t want someone to go in front of me,” Fords resident Marissa Dellomo said.
While some cut corners to stand in line, businesses are losing out on their bottom line.
Based on overnight capacity assessment, the MVC will establish a number of total customers each agency can serve the following day. Tickets will be given out up to that number, and remaining customers will be asked to return another day.