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Lines stretch for blocks at DMV reopenings

The Bayonne Office of Emergency Management warned residents to avoid the area

The line stretched to Marist High School in Bayonne. Screenshot of video by Sam Farag.

As NJ Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) agencies reopen across the state on July 7, residents in Hudson County were plagued by extraordinarily long lines. In some cases, after waiting for hours, residents were turned away as many MVC transactions have been moved online.

In Bayonne, the line stretched for blocks from the local MVC office practically to Marist High School.

The long line and “very congested area” prompted the local Office of Emergency Management to warn residents of the situation. The MVC office, formerly known as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is at 1347 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

“Please avoid the NJ DMV at City Line Plaza on JFK Blvd,” OEM posted on social media. “Agents will NOT assist on requests that can be cared for online, so please use their online portal.”

North Bergen 

In North Bergen, lines at the MVC were just as long. To help cope with the excruciating wait, NB C.A.R.E.S. was on the scene on Tuesday, July 7 and Wednesday, July 8 at the North Bergen MVC office.

NB C.A.R.E.S. was helping those who were standing for hours in the incredibly long line, waiting to gain access to the building to receive state services.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday, NB C.A.R.E.S. personnel distributed more than  2,000 water bottles and more than 1,500 snacks, helping well over 1,500 people.

“This was a situation that we have never experienced,” said North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco. “Township personnel have been doing an incredible job since this pandemic began, adapting to various situations in a very short period of time, and this was not the exception. I commend our staff for working diligently in providing some sense of empathy to a group of people that had to deal with an already difficult situation.”

The North Bergen Police Department, Department of Public Works, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Parking Authority also had personnel at the scene.

The NJMVC announced on July 8 that it will remain open on Mondays throughout July, a reversal from prior plans. Beginning on Monday, July 13, MVC offices will be open six days a week.

The NJ Motor Vehicle Commission has reworked many transactions to be conducted online as opposed to in-person. Any transactions that can be done online will not be available in person at this time, according to the state.

Most renewals of driver licenses, non-driver IDs, and registrations can be processed online at NJMVC.gov. Residents can change their addresses, pay fees, and access other services online as well.

The state Motor Vehicle Commission has designated some agencies as Licensing Centers and some as Vehicle Centers to maintain social distancing.

Licensing Center in Bayonne

The Bayonne MVC has been designated a Licensing Center. This means it will only process license transactions.

This includes, first-time licenses and permits, including REAL ID, out-of-state transfers, temporary visa restricted licenses, and any other expired licenses not eligible for online renewal.

REAL ID transactions will be processed only with a scheduled appointment, if an email verifying the appointment was cancelled, or for renewal of a standard license. No other REAL ID walk-ins will be allowed.

No driver knowledge tests are available at this time, according to the state Motor Vehicle Commission. No renewals, replacements, or changes of address for unexpired licenses and or IDs will be available either.

No vehicle transactions will be available at licensing centers, including no registration or title work. The Bayonne MVC will also not offer any road tests.

Another Licensing Center is in North Bergen.

Vehicle Center in Jersey City

The nearest Vehicle Center is in Jersey City. The Vehicle Center processes transactions, including registration and or title transfers for private sales, new registrations and titles, salvage titles, and license plate transactions.

There will be no in-person renewals for unexpired registrations because they can be processed online.

Customers and employees will be required to wear face coverings. If customers cannot wear a face covering, the Motor Vehicle Commission said other arrangements will be made for their transaction.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.

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