NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Wednesday was another day of huge lines at some of New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission offices.
Drivers are begging for some relief from the state, but do the resources to make any improvements exist?
Lines snaked around the block in Oakland and Wayne.
“I got here at 6:30 a.m.,” Riverdale resident Brenda Fusco told CBS2’s Andrea Grymes. “One of the guys that was on line said the man at the front of the line got here at 1 a.m.”
“There was a pregnant woman here. There was a woman with her kid here. There are older folks. It’s unreasonable to have to sit here for this long,” Montclair resident Trixie Kioko-Kamps said.
Drivers waited more than six hours to get through the doors.
Staffers gave out tickets to those waiting and most locations reached capacity for the day by the early morning, all due to huge volume.
By noon, the branches in Bakers Basin, Bayonne, Edison, Freehold, Toms River and Newark were no longer accepting customers.
“I have to repeat, once you get inside, it is really, it’s a finely tuned Swiss watch,” Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Tell that to the drivers outside who say the experience is like watching sand through a never-ending hourglass.
Murphy says they’re chopping through a tsunami of backlog since they were closed for months because of the pandemic.
“Folks are frustrated, I don’t blame them. The employees, they’re doing everything they can, but this is not where it needs to be yet,” Murphy said.
“Inside they’re doing the best they can,” one customer said.
In Wayne, some held huge umbrellas and others brought their own chairs. Many of them were trying to get new licenses.
“There’s so many efficiencies that can be found in just coming up with an appointment system,” North Caldwell resident Mara Nicastro said.
An MVC spokesperson says their experience suggests “…an appointment system processes at about 50-60% capacity due to slack time and no-shows, and allows no flexibility for illnesses or closures due to COVID.”
But he adds they are constantly reevaluating.
The MVC says it would love to have unlimited funds to extend hours or hire more staff, but the state is in a fiscal crisis so it simply isn’t possible.
The commission says it is allowing more transaction to be done online. For more information, visit www.state.nj.us/mvc/online-services.html.
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