TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey is facing a new crisis of sorts. With the lack of appointments a the state’s MVC offices, new drivers are being turned away to get their highly coveted licenses. Republicans say it’s all Phil Murphy’s fault.
For teens on the road to adulthood, getting their first driver’s license is a rite of passage, but problems with New Jersey’s Motor Vehicle Commission is making things difficult for thousands of young New Jerseyans, Republicans said in a statement.
Jersey shore-based legislators blame poor leadership by Governor Murphy for the thousands of student drivers who are unable to schedule appointments with MVC for learner’s permits and written tests.
Would-be drivers who want to apply for a permit or to take the written test are finding it almost impossible to schedule appointments, and lawmakers from the 10th District Republicans said it points to incompetency at MVC.
“This is another black eye for the Murphy Administration and motor vehicles. Since the beginning of the lockdown, it has been one embarrassment after another for an agency that is clearly overwhelmed and incapable of adjusting to accommodate residents and satisfy demand,” said Senator Jim Holzapfel. “It’s disgraceful and inexcusable, and there’s no sign things will get better any time soon.”
A year ago, in response to long, slow-moving lines at MVC locations across the state, a switch was made to an appointment-based system. The new process has not delivered as hoped, and residents trying to schedule a visit often find that no time slots are open.
“It was a good idea that failed miserably. Frustrations have grown as residents struggled to schedule appointments for transactions that were easily completed in the past,” said 10th district Republican. “We sounded the alarm in the April. We saw trouble brewing after Murphy made almost a half-million illegal immigrants eligible for New Jersey driver’s licenses without a plan to handle the increased volume. The system was unprepared. Now it is flooded, and citizens are paying the price.”
Last year, more than a quarter-million license exam documents were issued by MVC. Since New Jersey became the 14th state to allow licenses for undocumented immigrants, the total is expected to increase by more than 50 percent in 2021, and to more than 455,000 by the following year.
“Before allowing 400,000 more people to be eligible for driver’s licenses Murphy should have ensured the system could handle it,” said Assemblyman Greg McGuckin, who has been named as a defendant in a sexual discrimination lawsuit in Toms River. “It would have made sense for him to delay making illegals eligible until citizens were taken care of first. He clearly did it for political reasons in an election year, the rest of us be damned.”
McGuckin and Toms River elected officials are being sued by openly gay former Township Business Administrator Don Guardian. The lawsuit alleges township officials harrassed Guardian with homophobic slurs. McGuckin tried to have the courts remove his name from the lawsuit but was denied. A second attempt by McGuckin in appeals court was also denied by the courts.
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