TRENTON – While the majority of New Jersey's motor vehicle transactions can now be completed online, some still require a trip to one of the Motor Vehicle Commission's 39 agencies. And in many cases, an appointment is needed.

And while MVC officials insist there are plenty of appointments available, some customers continue to complain about the difficulty of scoring one. That could change though under a new adjustment to the MVC's appointment system.

William Connolly, MVC press secretary and spokesman, said the commission has changed the time when new appointments are added to the online appointment system every day from midnight to 7 a.m.

“We do not see it as a major operational change. It’s something we wanted to communicate to the public, and in part we’re doing it because we don’t want people to think that they have to wait up till midnight to get an appointment,” he said.

Plenty of appointments

According to Connolly, people who look at the state's online appointment system will notice that appointments are widely available across the state.

“You’d see about 2,000 appointments for permits, about 12,000 for non-driver ID’s, 11,000 for knowledge tests – CDL’s for renewals and permits, there’s about 5,000,” Connolly said. “And if you need to do a vehicle transfer, a vehicle title registration transfer, about 84,000 of those. Thirty thousand registration renewals,” he said.

There is, however, one service where appointments are scarce.

"The one place where we don’t have appointments usually available is in initial permits, and that’s in large part because of no-shows, we have about a 30% no-show rate,” Connolly said.

The Motor Vehicle Commission agency in Raritan Township on June 13, 2020. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
The Motor Vehicle Commission agency in Raritan Township on June 13, 2020. (Michael Symons/Townsquare Media NJ)
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Why is the system sometimes jammed?

As for why the system sometimes gets backlogged, Connolly blames that on two factors – people making appointments under multiple email addresses and not canceling appointments they can't make.

“People are making appointments under multiple email addresses and we strongly discourage that," Connolly said.

He also encourages people to cancel their appointments if they can't make them.

Connolly said a reduction in both practices will make appointment availability even better.

Think online

Connolly said overall, the effort to get people to go online instead of lining up at MVC agencies is paying off.

“When you think of MVC the first thing we want you to do is, if you need to do business with us, go to our website, njmvc.gov,” he said.

Connolly said about 80% of all transactions can now be done online.

"Our guidance in general is go to our website first. If you can do your transaction, great. Do it there. It makes it great for everyone.”

You can contact reporter David Matthau at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com.

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