NEW JERSEY - It is not a great experience on a regular day, but a trip to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission on Tuesday was a horrible and long experience for thousands of drivers as the state agency reopened to customers for the first time in months.
The NJ MVC had reopened Monday for student driver tests and inspections only, but in-person transactions were delayed until Tuesday, July 7 due to a problem with a new text message system intended to prevent overcrowding. The delay didn't stop the overcrowding.
At the Eatontown location, one person said on Twitter that she arrived at 5:45 a.m., but that customers had started showing up at 3 a.m.
By mid-morning, police in South Brunswick warned people to avoid the location there with hundreds of people starting to line up since 5 a.m. The wait there was more than three hours.
By 7:43 am, police in Lodi said the facility there would receive no more customers for the rest of the day due to capacity being overwhelmed.
"While we understand the frustration of our customers in this extremely challenging and difficult time, our employees are doing the best they can to keep everyone safe and work as efficiently as possible," MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said in a statement.
A message on the state website said: "Lines are very long. Consider waiting a week or more before you come in."
All of the MVC locations were closed in mid-March as part of the state efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus. State officials said that many services were still available online. Those transactions require a special fee for the convenience.