Lesniak to Introduce Senate Version on Monday
TRENTON – Amid increased waiting times at New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission facilities, an Assembly committee on Monday advanced legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Joseph Cryan and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano to cut average customer waiting times to 15 minutes or less.
The bill was released 3-0-2 by the Assembly State Government Committee, with Democrats supporting and Republicans abstaining.
The bill (A-4079) would require the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to establish, within 60 days of the bill’s effective date, standards designed to achieve average customer wait times of 30 minutes or less at all commission facilities. The chief would then be required to establish standards designed to achieve average customer wait times of 15 minutes or less.
A recent report by NBC New York highlighted long lines after cutbacks and office closings by the Christie administration. The Elizabeth MVC office was among those closed, prompting long lines at the Springfield MVC facility.
The Assembly State Government Committee also took testimony Monday about the impact of the recent closing of the MVC facility in Elizabeth on the quality of customer service.
“Customers have faced longer than acceptable, sometimes extraordinary, wait times in recent weeks,” said Cryan (D-Union). “Unfortunately, New Jersey residents aren’t receiving a stellar level of customer service when doing business with the commission. That must change. Ultimately, all this bill does is require the MVC to meet its publicly stated goal of getting New Jerseyans in and out in 15 minutes or less. That’s a reasonable thing to do.”
“Long waits and poor customer service had been things of the past until the recent cutbacks by the Christie administration,” said Quijano (D-Union). “New Jerseyans deserve better than to spend hours waiting to do something as simple as renewing a driver’s license. If the MVC believes in its stated goal of cutting waiting times to 15 minutes or less, then this measure should be something it embraces. I look forward to the return of better service for residents.”
Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who represents the 20th Legislative District with Cryan and Quijano, said he planned to introduce a Senate version of the bill on Monday.
“For many New Jerseyans who do not deal with the state on a regular basis, the MVC is essentially the face of state government,” said Lesniak (D-Union). “Unfortunately for the people of Elizabeth, New Jersey is in major need of a face lift. The lack of a dedicated MVC presence within one of our largest cities is simply disgraceful, and is causing countless headaches for local residents seeking services in the surrounding communities.”
Under the bill, the chief administrator would have to annually publish customer service wait times as required by current law. The chief would also be required to develop and establish incentives designed to ultimately achieve average customer wait times of 15 minutes or less.