Murphy promises that state will do better as long lines continue at Motor Vehicle Commission offices

Cars were parked bumper to bumper from the DMV parking lot all the way out to the corner of Office Road and Grovers Mill Road on Wednesday. Photo submitted by a reader.

Long lines of people snaked around New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission offices across the state again for the second day in a row on Wednesday as facilities were overwhelmed with drivers again.

On Tuesday, Trenton police were called to the commission office on Stockton Street to break up a fight reported in a line that wrapped around the building. Police in South Brunswick reported on Tuesday that traffic was backed up on Route 130 for half a mile and that there was a three-hour wait to reach the agency. On Wednesday, Planet Princeton readers reported that the long lines continued in Trenton, South Brunswick, and Bakers Basin in Lawrence. At Bakers Basin, people brought camping chairs for the wait on Wednesday, and cars were parked bumper to bumper from the DMV parking lot all the way out to the corner of Office Road and Grovers Mill Road.

Governor Murphy promised at his daily press briefing on Wednesday afternoon that the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission will work harder to deliver a better experience.

“I know that yesterday was a challenging first day back for everyone at the Motor Vehicle Commission. By the way, it sounds like day number two is not much less challenging either,” Murphy said. “I completely understand the frustration felt by every customer forced to wait on long lines as we reopen and deal with the months and months of backlog due to the closures caused by the pandemic. What many experienced yesterday and it feels like perhaps today was not up to their expectations or ours and we will do better.”

Murphy said to ensure that the Motor Vehicle Commission is not understaffed, he is exempting MVC workers from furloughs. The offices will remain open on Mondays in July. Offices will be closed this Saturday, but starting next Monday, they will be open six days a week, he said.

Murphy urged residents to see if they can conduct their Motor Vehicle Commission business online by visiting the DMV website. Expiration dates for licenses, permits, identification cards, commercial registrations, inspections, and temporary tags were automatically extended during the emergency.

In May, the state extended the expiration dates for standard driver licenses including permits, non-driver identification cards, vehicle registrations, vehicle inspections, disabled veteran placards, and temporary tags. Documents that expired between March 13 and May 31 have been extended to July 31. Documents expiring June 30 have been extended to Aug. 31, and documents expiring on July 31 have been extended to Sept. 30.

Murphy encouraged residents to take advantage of extensions to lessen the crowding at agencies. He begged people not to camp out overnight at an agency. “Conduct business online if you can. Please don’t camp out,” he said.

People wait in line at the Bakers Basin DMV in Lawrence. Many were not social distancing or wearing masks, Planet Princeton readers report.