New Jersey's Next-of-Kin Registry, maintained by the state Motor Vehicle Commission, was established following the 2007 car crash and subsequent death of Sara Dubinin of Sayreville.

Yet until this week, when Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation sponsored by Sens. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, and Joseph Vitale, D-Middlesex, registrants could only apply for the emergency contacts list online or by mail.

But now, drivers can also do so in person at MVC agencies, something Corrado said in a release will also "allow law enforcement to more easily reach family members" in the event someone is seriously injured in a crash.

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Actually, the Next-of-Kin Registry has been open online to anyone in the state 14 and older who wishes to voluntarily submit up to two emergency contacts to be kept on file by the MVC.

For registrants under the age of 18, those contacts must be parents or legal guardians.

All emergency contacts must be at least 18, according to the MVC.

"No parent or immediate family member should ever have to wait hours or days to be notified about a loved one involved in a serious crash," Corrado said.

The registry remains available online, or applicable by mail at: New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Driver Management Unit — Data Entry, P.O. Box 134, Trenton, NJ, 08666-0134.

Patrick Lavery is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at patrick.lavery@townsquaremedia.com

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