Office Closure Has Put Hardship on Local Residents
TRENTON – Senator Joe Cryan is asking the New Jersey Motor Vehicles Commission to re-evaluate the past decision to close the facility in Elizabeth that was so important in providing accessible services to a large, low-income community that is now forced to travel to distant MVC offices to acquire the licenses, registrations and other documents that are required for operating a motor vehicle. The 2010 closure by the previous administration left Elizabeth, the fourth-largest municipality in the state, without a motor vehicles office.
“Elizabeth is a city of hard working people who go to work every day and care for their families,” said Senator Cryan, D-Union. “It is a diverse community with a large number of low-income residents who support themselves and their families on limited resources. Forcing them to travel to Newark, Rahway or other MVC facilities to get the documents they need to have is worse than an inconvenience – it can be a hardship that is unfair and unjustified.”
The average median household income in Elizabeth is $43,831, almost $30,000 less than the state average of $73,702.
The Senate Transportation Committee today endorsed a Senate Resolution, SR-57, authored by Senator Cryan, that would “respectfully urge the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to reopen the office in Elizabeth.”
The MVC office was closed at the end of 2010 forcing Elizabeth residents who rely on public transportation to travel to the Newark or Rahway offices that are not easily accessible. The now-closed office was conveniently located near a number of public transit access points which provided easy access for the residents of Elizabeth.
“Since the closure of the Elizabeth MVC office, our residents have been forced to travel to other locations where they wait hours for services and go back numerous times to get their paperwork processed,” said Senator Cryan. “The closure has created increased customer volume at the nearby MVC locations, causing significant and inconvenient wait times.”
Union County’s MVC facilities process the second highest number of items in New Jersey.
“I would like the current officials at the MVC to review the situation and the circumstances,” said Senator Cryan. “I would hope that they would agree that the best decision for the interest of Elizabeth, the nearby communities and for the role of the motor vehicles agency is to reopen the Elizabeth facility.”