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Why has it been so hard to schedule an appointment with the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to receive a permit or to transfer your license

Some car buyers, especially in North Jersey, must wait weeks for appointments due to a lack of staff, cramped facilities, and a growing preference for certain transactions.

Drivers seeking their first licenses will understand the frustration caused by this issue all too well. As a result of overwhelming demand, securing one of these appointments can take months.

In late February, Neil Epstein reported that his daughter had been unable to secure a permit appointment. In the end, she scheduled a visit for late April in Egg Harbor, several hours distant from her home in North Jersey.

Chief Executive Officer Sue Fulton stated that despite the agency's best efforts, they could not accommodate a more significant number of patients for appointments due to the unprecedented volume of new patients and ongoing staffing shortages.

"We've been able to add around 1,200 [appointments] each day statewide since the beginning of this year, and most of those in the last month," Fulton added. Consequently, "we're shifting toward attempting to fulfill the current demand."

There are additional openings, Epstein said.

Although more appointments are now available, Epstein notes that "they still have a lack in northern New Jersey." "It's such a dated method... I think it's great that they're adopting cutting-edge innovation, but they need to move a bit quicker.

According to agency spokesperson William Connolly, a total of 285,219 transactions were handled on February 28, while 274,578 transactions were processed during the week of March 7.

"We've processed roughly 22-27% higher than our pre-COVID normal of about 250,000 transactions each week," Connolly added, referring to the number of transactions processed in the past two weeks.

According to Fulton, increased demand has resulted in lengthy wait times—up to a month or two in some cases—for appointments related to first-time permits, knowledge exams, and out-of-state transfers. After the COVID-related closing of schools and transfers, Fulton says the state saw a surge in demand for permits and knowledge tests from new consumers.

Getting an appointment, according to Fulton, is more challenging in the north of the state because of the higher population density there.

DMV Appointment

Submitted by Robert James on Wed, 10/05/2022 - 10:51