New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) is the largest customer-facing agency in state government, and as such, has not been immune to facing its share of challenges amid the pandemic, not the least of which was a COVID-19-induced backlog of pending transactions that began to pile up in the earlier months of the state’s lockdown.
MVC Chair and Chief Administrator Brenda “Sue” Fulton said today that her agency has worked tirelessly since its reopening in July to serve its customers in a safer and more timely manner.
“We know many customers are frustrated as we have been digging out from the COVID-19 backlog,” Fulton said. “This has been an incredibly stressful time for our customers as well as our employees, but I promise you we will never stop trying harder to serve you faster, while protecting you from fraud identity theft, and COVID-19.”
Fulton said that MVC’s first priority was to move transactions out of the agency, particularly document renewals.
“In a massive series of IT projects, even more complex than the massive facilities refit that was required to meet COVID-19 guidelines, we dramatically expanded our online capabilities,” Fulton said.
She said that the agency added dozens of new online transactions, and streamlined others including adding payment options, longer grace periods and new ways to verify ID.
The result is a more than doubling of online transactions taking place since 2019, with online renewals in particular going from one-third to more than two-thirds.
Fulton added that the agency was also able to clear the driver’s test backlog and that there is now no longer any wait time for those looking to schedule a driver’s test appointment.
According to Fulton, the digitalization of many MVC transactions has not only contributed to a safer experience for New Jersey residents, but also created a more convenient system as a whole.
“For example, a year ago, you would have stood in line to check in, then stood in another line to get your ID checked, then stood in one more line for service. Now when you check in, we take your number and you are free to go until you receive a series of text messages to return for service,” Fulton said. “This system isn’t revolutionary, but last year it didn’t even exist in our 39 agencies.”
She added that contactless license plate dropboxes are another small, but impactful change to ensure agencies are running as efficiently as possible during the pandemic.
“The past few months have been a time for tremendous innovation for MVC,” Fulton added.
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