New Jersey's 25th Legislative District

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Senator Anthony M. Bucco

Bucco Bill Package Addresses Long Lines and Delays at Motor Vehicle Commission Locations

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As frustrations continue to mount with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission’s inability to deal with the volume of motorists seeking services at agencies around the state, Senator Anthony M. Bucco has introduced a legislative package to provide a solution to the problems at the long-beleaguered agency.

Senator Bucco sponsors a package of legislation addressing inefficiencies and poor service at New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission. (SenateNJ.com)

“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. Steps that should have been taken to improve services and productivity were ignored, and the added pressure of the state shutdown resulted in the mess we see there today.”

Last week, Bucco introduced three measures to shorten lines and ease the stress on New Jersey drivers.

“At this point, it is imperative to address the current crisis, the long lines and slow service that have angered residents and sparked confrontations, but we also have to make long-term improvements that will strengthen and improve the operations going forward,” said Bucco (R-25). “There’s plenty of room for improvement at MVC, and the Legislature should play a role. It is clear that something has to done to fix these problems.  New Jersey motorists can’t afford to wait any longer.”

Bucco’s bills include:

  • S-2762 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.
  • S-2756 reduces lines at MVC by allowing licensed motor vehicle dealers to process titles and registrations for used vehicles purchased through private sales.
  • S-2757 also addresses the demand for MVC services, permitting qualifying driving schools to conduct road tests for licenses.

“Long before coronavirus became an issue, the operations at these agencies was dysfunctional” said Bucco. “Every day, MVC facilities demonstrate the failings of government bureaucracy and New Jerseyans have had enough of it. Despite what the Governor says, backlogs are not being worked out. It’s time for the Legislature to address these chronic problems.”

When MVC shut its doors after Governor Murphy declared the coronavirus state of emergency, Bucco foresaw trouble brewing for drivers as a tremendous backlog of paperwork, transactions and license testing developed.

In May, on two different occasions the Senator cautioned the commission’s chief administrator, Sue Fulton, emphasizing the need to have a plan in place for eventual re-opening of the commission’s doors, and requested an overview of the strategy.

He never received a response, and the lack of preparation was obvious when drivers were allowed to return.

“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.”

Bucco is also a prime sponsor with Senator Michael Testa on two more measures reforming MVC.

  • S-2730 requires MVC to provide some services online, eliminating the need for a visit to the agency.
  • SJR-90 establishes a task force to study the effects of COVID-19 on MVC and to improve MVC preparedness for future pandemics.

In addition, Bucco is co-sponsor on S-2528, sponsored by Senate President Steve Sweeney and Senator Robert Singer. The bill temporarily waives the requirement for a road test to earn a license during the COVID-19 emergency declared by the Governor.

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