'Crazy' Lines As MVC Agencies Reopen Across New Jersey

Marla Diamond
July 07, 2020 - 1:00 pm

MANAHAWKIN, N.J. (WCBS 880) — Long lines and fights were reported in New Jersey on Tuesday as the Motor Vehicle Commission reopened its agencies for in-person transactions the first time in months. 

Police in Lodi closed the agency before 8 a.m. due to overwhelming demand while sheriff officers also shut down a line at the Oakland agency, NJ.com reported.

Trenton Police had to break up a fight on the line at the MVC agency on Stockton Street and South Brunswick police tweeted a video of the line outside the agency on Route 130, where there was a 3-hour wait and a half-mile backup of cars trying to get in.

At the Manahawkin agency, it's first come, first served. The line there stretched from the door and down the sidewalk of a large strip mall.

Danny Polizano, of Lacey Township, who waited with hundreds of others to get his car registered, described the situation there as "ludicrous" and "crazy."

"We got here at a quarter after six. There was about 50 people ahead of us. They checked to see if our paper work was right and sent us out. They're gonna text us when we go in and actually hand in our paperwork," he said.

John Sterling, of Waretown, showed up at 5:45 a.m. determined to register his 1979 El Camino SS. 

"I've been waiting all my life to buy a classic car and I bought it and I'm gonna drive it today so help me God," he said. "And then I might actually go stand in line for a haircut since half the day's done already. You take it as you can get it."

Agents are letting in five people at a time for proper social distancing, but WCBS 880's Marla Diamond reports there's very little of that going on outside in the line as people wait in the heat and humidity.

Many have no choice but to wait.

"My license apparently was suspended because my insurance lapsed and I never got a letter from DMV. I got pulled over last week and they took my car," one woman said. 

Diamond reports people are trying to keep their cool and make the best of a frustrating situation.

On its website, the MVC is advising drivers consider waiting a week or more before coming in due to the long lines.

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