By: Michael Mandarino, Follow South Jersey Assignment Editor
TRENTON, N.J. — Last week, Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that will allow the New Jersey Department of Motor Vehicles to extend certain deadlines for customers.
The legislation extends the validity of all driver’s licenses and ID photos from a maximum of eight years to a new maximum of 12 years. Residents who are 65 years of age or older can use a stored photo for each driver’s license or standard ID renewal.
“The temporary, but necessary closure of our MVC facilities earlier this year has resulted in an undeniable burden on many residents,” Gov. Murphy said in a press release. “Under the leadership of Chief Administrator Sue Fulton, the MVC has made great progress in providing residents with the services that they need, under unprecedented circumstances. This legislation will reduce wait times and allow our vulnerable populations to have the access they need to obtain critical services.”
Additionally, the DMV’s chief administrator will be required to reserve one day per week or a certain time each day for exclusive appointments. The only customers allowed into the DMV at these times will be senior citizens and customers who can’t wear a mask due to preexisting medical conditions.
According to a press release, these times will be available at “certain commission agency locations” throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency in the state.
“Since the beginning of the pandemic, businesses across the nation have designated seniors-only hours for elderly residents. I am pleased the MVC will now do the same,” New Jersey Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson said in a release. “With designated appointment times, seniors will be able to access MVC services while largely avoiding crowds. Additionally, extending the time the MVC can use stored photos to update driver’s licenses will limit the number of times seniors need to visit the MVC amid this public health crisis.”
A separate piece of legislation extended the deadlines for residents who recently moved to the state to register vehicles and obtain driver’s licenses. New residents still can’t update their documentation online, but they’ll now have 120 days after moving into New Jersey to get their registration and driver’s license sorted out — up from the previous requirement of 60 days.
Although New Jersey’s Departments of Motor Vehicles reopened approximately two months ago, they’ve struggled to keep up with the logjam of customers created by those closures. This legislation from the Murphy administration aims to help assist the DMV with its high volume going forward.
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