Senator Anthony M. Bucco has introduced legislation to end the repeated Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agency closures that have caused unnecessary disruption and inconvenience to New Jersey drivers.
A screenshot of the NJMVC website taken on April 26, 2021 showing seven agency closures due to COVID-19. New legislation by Sen. Tony Bucco would require agencies to remain open or offer reasonable alternatives on site, including mobile units. (NJMVC)
“Every day we hear of another MVC agency that’s closing for two weeks because a single worker has COVID,” said Bucco (R-25). “Nobody else operates like that. Your grocery store doesn’t close for days or weeks every time a cashier tests positive. They sanitize, test, and get back to work safely without missing a beat. There simply is no good excuse for the repeated disruption of service at our MVC agencies.”
Under current operating procedures, an MVC agency closes for up to 14 days when a single employee has COVID-19.
As of this morning, seven of the 39 licensing and vehicle centers operated by the MVC are listed as “closed due to COVID-19” on the commission’s website.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we had to fight to get the Murphy administration to reopen the MVC, digitize services, and offer appointments to end the horrendous lines,” said Bucco. “Forcing the MVC to keep the doors open is the next step to help drivers get the consistent service they deserve across New Jersey.”
Bucco’s new legislation directs the Chief Administrator of the MVC to take all measures necessary to prevent the temporary closure of a commission agency due to the coronavirus and ensure that the commission and its agencies continue to provide services to customers.
If the temporary closure of an agency is necessary, the bill requires reasonable alternatives, including mobile units, to be provided to customers at that agency location.
“With testing, masks, vaccines, and all of the other measures that are now out there, we believe lengthy MVC agency closures are excessive and unnecessary,” added Bucco. “If private sector businesses can remain open despite the challenges of COVID-19, we should expect nothing less of critical government services like the MVC.”
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