Need to go to the NJ MVC? Chief says too many people are making these mistakes
Months after the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission updated its online appointment system to make it easier for people to reserve in-person appointments, some New Jerseyans insist they’re still not able to get through no matter how hard they try.
MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said the problem is that some people don’t understand that many MVC actions no longer require in-person visits.
"They’re like why can’t I find an appointment for this? It’s because you can do it online" she said last week. “If everyone would check njmvc.gov to know what they can do without leaving their home, things would go a lot smoother.”
An in-person visit is not needed for most transactions including registration and license renewal and change of address.
She said another problem is people who make multiple appointments but then never show up for one or more of them. At least 25% of appointments are no-shows, she said.
“It’s incredibly discourteous to make two appointments and take an appointment away from somebody else. You can easily cancel an appointment," she said.
She said even if you have lost your confirmation information for an appointment that you don’t need, you can request a re-confirmation, which will bring the appointment up on the website cancel it.
She said if your appointment is canceled by the MVC because of a COVID problem or something else, the MVC will let you come in on a walk-in basis to any licensing center for a couple of weeks.
Getting an appointment at MVC can be tough
She said getting a title or a registration appointment at an MVC office or one for a commercial driver’s license is relatively quick and easy but “the issue is going to be with your first-time permit or a knowledge test or an out-of-state transfer.”
She said one reason it’s hard to get a knowledge test appointment is “the failure rate is about 50%, which means of everybody who goes in half of them are going to come back again to take another appointment. It would be helpful if the passing rate was higher.”
She said for those types of transactions you still may need to wait a month, or make an appointment at an alternate MVC agency.
“Those appointments take longer, which is why we have them set up as appointments rather than walk-ins,” said Fulton.
She noted hundreds of new license appointment slots have been added to the system every day, which is helping to speed things up a bit.
She said most in-person visits do require appointments, like registering a vehicle purchased from a private owner, getting a first-time license or taking your driver’s test.
David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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