The closure of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) facility in Wayne is a “slight” to drivers who are currently waiting in long lines, according to State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-40).
MVC closed the licensing center for more than a week following news that a worker had tested positive for COVID-19.
“This response is an over-reaction by MVC and yet another example of the Murphy Administration being out of touch with the real world,” the Senator said. “There is no justification for locking the doors for more than a week.”
Comparisons to the Private Sector
Corrado argued the closure was a panic move that proved the agency had little to no regard for its customers, and that businesses across the state were more adept at handling the pandemic.
She noted many businesses across the state that rely upon customers for survival can safely reopen within one to two days following a complete sanitization process during a temporary closure.
“Only a state department can afford to come to a full stop. No other enterprise has that luxury,” Corrado said. “If the MVC was a business, they would be out of business.”
Further Critique of MVC
Corrado and State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-24) had previously argued the MVC’s current problems could have been avoided. At the time, the pair of Senators argued long lines, three-hour wait times, and stalled traffic were the results of poor planning.
“NJMVC’s performance has been an abysmal failure,” Corrado said at the time, referencing the Wayne MVC location.
“Locally, they were so overwhelmed they were utilizing police officers to screen cars on Route 46 before they entered the facility to get them into the right cues. It is obvious there has been no preparation, no planning, no leadership,” she said.
Meanwhile, State Senator Patrick Diegnan (D-18) is working work on a package of bills to help alleviate the current conditions.
“This legislation would take immediate action to protect our most vulnerable populations like seniors and folks medically incapable of wearing masks,” said Diegnan, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee. “This is an opportunity to bring our MVC network into the 21st Century. We need to find solutions for this emergency now.”
Diegnan is proposing an immediate extension of licenses for a year to senior citizens; designate a day that will be for appointment only; and require MVC to start a pilot program similar to Ohio’s “Get On Line” program—a virtual queue system allowing residents to advance in the queue without physically waiting in the office.
The legislations proposed are expected to be introduced in the coming weeks.