State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-25) introduced a legislative package to provide solutions to long lines and additional delays at New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) locations. The package was made up of three measures.
“MVC’s performance during the pandemic has been abysmal, from top to bottom,” said Bucco. “The coronavirus simply exposed systemic shortcomings and inefficiencies that have plagued operations at the commission for far too long.”
The Legislative Package
The legislation package from the the Morris County lawmaker is made up of three measures:
- Requires the state to reimburse municipalities for police costs related to crowding at motor vehicle sites and appropriates $500 million from New Jersey’s pot of federal CARES Act funding. The need for police at facilities to control long lines and ensure traffic safety has resulted in skyrocketing costs for municipalities.
- Reduces lines at MVC by allowing licensed motor vehicle dealers to process titles and registrations for used vehicles purchased through private sales.
- Addresses the demand for MVC services, permitting qualifying driving schools to conduct road tests for licenses.
“Every day, MVC facilities demonstrate the failings of government bureaucracy and New Jerseyans have had enough of it. Despite what (Gov. Phil Murphy) says, backlogs are not being worked out. It’s time for the Legislature to address these chronic problems,” he said.
Additionally, the Senator was a prime sponsor alongside State Sen. Michael Testa (R-1) on two additional measures reforming the agency.
Warnings Not Heeded
The first measure requires MVC to provide some services online, eliminating the need for a visit to the agency, while the second establishes a task force to study the effects of COVID-19 on MVC and to improve MVC preparedness for future pandemics.
MVC shut its doors March 9 following the governor’s State of Emergency order. Bucco said he foresaw trouble at that point, and on two different occasions in May, cautioned the agency’s chief administrator, Sue Fulton, on the issue.
Bucco emphasized a plan was needed for the eventual reopening of MVC facilities, but was never provided a response. He argued the lack of preparation was evident.
“That was proof positive that the system is badly broken,” said Bucco. “All of the problems could have been avoided, but the lack of leadership, vision and communication had consequences for New Jersey drivers. My legislation will start to resolve the chaos and re-establish the credibility New Jersey residents expect from MVC.”