With most MVC workers vaccinated, offices aren’t closing as much
A week and a half ago the Oakland Motor Vehicle Commission Agency office in Bergen County was closed because an MVC employee had tested positive for COVID.
But instead of being closed for two weeks, which had been the protocol over the past year, MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said the office reopened the next day.
“Since we have provided vaccination opportunities to everyone in the agencies, we no longer have to quarantine the entire agency if we have a contact,” she said.
She said most but not all MVC employees have now been vaccinated.
“If we have concerns that someone who hasn’t been vaccinated has been exposed, then they individually provide a doctor’s note and they quarantine. But there’s not need anymore to quarantine the entire agency," she said.
Fulton said once there is a confirmed positive COVID case, the agency will need to be cleaned as soon as possible, so that still requires a closure, but most of the time it can quickly reopen for business.
“The difference is closing for cleaning, which we can get in right away, versus closing because we had to quarantine all the employees,” she said.
Fulton said if an office is closed during business hours for a COVID cleaning, customers whose appointments had to be cancelled are given courtesy walk-in appointments for the following day.
She added that many people — about a third of all appointments — could have handled their business online or through the phone instead of making an appointment.
"No one gets a license in person anymore," she said. All licenses are now mailed.
Fulton said appointments are readily available for registrations, title transfers, commercial driver’s licenses, non-driver ID’s, driver testing and renewals you cannot do online, including ones expired more than six months ago.
She noted there is a backlog of appointments for people seeking initial permits, mostly because teens were unable to get them through their schools for much of pandemic, and they are now showing up in droves because they want to get their licenses.
She also said since the vaccine rollout began in earnest earlier this year, the MVC has seen a big increase in work capacity.
‘The Motor Vehicle Commission overall is processing 15 to 25% more transactions every week than we did before COVID,” said Fulton.