Ocean County 10th District Lawmakers forewarned current MVC issues could happen
During the course of the pandemic, things became understandably slow at MVC/DMV offices across the state, then the tide turned as things opened up but still delays.
In year two of the pandemic, delays continue and perhaps much to do with covid related delays, but there are more issues now with worker shortages and also something that's sparked political debate.
For routine things like getting a permit or license or take the written drivers test all squared away and signed, especially for first time drivers including teenagers, there are now mounting delays to make appointments and get things completed.
NJ-MVC spokesman William Connolly confirmed to Townsquare Media News what he had relayed to NJ-Advance Media that the delays right now are in fact historic.
It could be quite a while as well until first time drivers and anyone else gets in for what they need as Connolly also laid out the fact that they're booked for a bit.
It's a lot going on all at once and a lot of people trying to get in to get everything taken care of in the meantime.
After this myriad of delays from Covid, staffing shortages and New Jersey and the Murphy administration implementing a new law that now allows 450,000 undocumented immigrants to receive licenses, as previously reported by NJ-Advance Media, there's a lot going on and many are looking for an answer but more-so just an appointment.
In Ocean County, 10th District Lawmakers are among those pushing for changes while sharing the frustration voiced by their constituents as well as other residents in the state.
“This is another black eye for the Murphy Administration and motor vehicles. Since the beginning of the lockdown, it has been one embarrassment after another for an agency that is clearly overwhelmed and incapable of adjusting to accommodate residents and satisfy demand,” Ocean County 10th District State Senator Jim Holzapfel said in a statement. “It’s disgraceful and inexcusable, and there’s no sign things will get better any time soon.”
The 10th District Lawmakers said that they warned that these delays were within the realm of possibilities months ago, even after the MVC moved into an appointment-based system, and the idea of delays became a reality in May.
“It was a good idea that failed miserably. Frustrations have grown as residents struggled to schedule appointments for transactions that were easily completed in the past,” Ocean County 10th District Assemblyman John Catalano said in a statement. “We sounded the alarm in April. We saw trouble brewing after Murphy made almost a half-million illegal immigrants eligible for New Jersey driver’s licenses without a plan to handle the increased volume. The system was unprepared. Now it is flooded, and citizens are paying the price.”
In 2020, the 10th District lawmakers point to the fact that more than a quarter-million documents (approximately 455,000) were issued by the MVC but they expect those totals to increase by more than 50-percent in 2021, after New Jersey became the 14th state to allow licenses for undocumented immigrants.
“Before allowing 400,000 more people to be eligible for driver’s licenses Murphy should have ensured the system could handle it,” Ocean County 10th District State Assemblyman Greg McGuckin said in a statement. “It would have made sense for him to delay making illegals eligible until citizens were taken care of first. He clearly did it for political reasons in an election year, the rest of us be damned.”
So, what happens now and next?