Long lines form at MVC sites across New Jersey on first day of reopening

CAMDEN, New Jersey (WPVI) -- People were braving the heat in lines outside of Motor Vehicle Commission sites across New Jersey on the first day of in-person license and vehicle transactions since coronavirus shutdowns in March.

Hundreds of people were waiting for at least two hours at a time in long lines at the Camden location on Mt. Ephraim Avenue on Tuesday.

There are also reports of the same wait times in Toms River, Turnersville and Trenton.

Space was limited inside the Turnersville location to 33 customers at a time.

Hundreds of people waited in line all day, and many people Action News spoke with left empty-handed, either because the line was so long that they never made it to the front before the MVC closed, or they never took a number before getting in line.

There's been a new division of services since quarantine, where MVCs deal with titling and registration.

To keep people socially distant there's a new three-step text program, where residents get alerts electronically for when they can come inside, so there's no need to wait in line, especially in the sweltering heat.

"I'm a diabetic, I can't really be in the sun, I'm getting dizzy because I need to eat, and I can't lose my place in line I've waited too long for this," said Evelyn Holt, from Millville, New Jersey.

MVC locations were supposed to reopen last week but that was delayed until Tuesday and the crowds of people showed up early.

"March 18 was his scheduled license, they shut everything down March 16. The poor kid has been waiting forever," said Reggie Wu.

Licensing Centers will be processing new licenses and permits, out-of-state transfers, and REAL ID for those whose appointments were canceled, according to the MVC.

Most licenses, IDs, registrations and other documents scheduled to expire after March 13 have been extended to at least July 31.

Vehicle Centers will be adding individual registration and title transactions as well.

Transactions that can be done online will not be available in person until further notice, according to the MVC.

On Tuesday, New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton released the following statement:

"As we reopen today, MVC agencies are experiencing extraordinarily high customer volumes. In anticipation of long lines due to social distancing restrictions, Agency management personnel were pre-deployed to our busiest agencies, beginning at 6:00 AM, two hours before our start time. Additionally, all of our senior staff in operations are deployed to agencies to help process transactions. While we understand the frustration of our customers in this extremely challenging and difficult time, our employees are doing the best they can to keep everyone safe and work as efficiently as possible."

The Commission wants everyone to remember that you can renew or replace your license, and registration, or change your address online at NJMVC.gov.

All Motor Vehicle Commission sites will be closed on every Monday for the rest of the month to allow for health and safety inspections following each week of expanded service.
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