McGreevey Signs “Fix DMV” Measures Into Law
(EDISON)—Following through on his commitment to overhaul the Division of Motor Vehicles, Governor James E. McGreevey signed the “Fix DMV” bill into law today, which mandates the implementation of initiatives that will address lapses in security and improve customer service.
“Today is a tremendous victory for New Jersey drivers,” said McGreevey. “After 15 years of neglect, the Division of Motor Vehicles is getting a solid, concrete plan for improvement—a plan that addresses many of the security and customer service concerns that New Jersey drivers have tolerated for far too long.”
"Today's signing of Governor McGreevey's Fix DMV bill is a historic moment for the Division of Motor Vehicles and the people of New Jersey," said Acting Transportation Commissioner Jack Lettiere. "For too long, the DMV has been left to fend for itself, its documents have been unprotected and its customers forced to endure long lines. This legislation provides us the tools to reverse years of neglect and provide quality service that our residents deserve."
Initially introduced in November, Assembly Bill 3058/ Senate Bill 2121, “The Motor Vehicle Security and Customer Service Act,” includes comprehensive reform measures that will make the agency more responsive to the concerns of New Jersey motorists and address problems of fraud, corruption and identity theft. The legislation was sponsored by Assembly Speaker Albio Sires (D-Hudson), Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) and Senator Nicholas Sacco (D-Bergen/ Hudson). The Governor signed the bill at the Edison DMV office.
"Let this measure serve as a wake-up call for terrorists who threaten our security, thieves who threaten our identities, and poor customer service which has threatened our patience for years," said Senator Sacco, Democratic Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee and sponsor of the DMV reform legislation. "We are finally witnessing the beginning of real DMV reform."
"Most significant within the DMV reforms discussed today will be the closing of security loopholes which have jeopardized the public safety of all New Jersey residents," said Senator Barbara Buono, D-Middlesex. "It is inexcusable that the previous administration allowed this agency to slip into such neglect and risk our security. I look forward to the day when the 'fake New Jersey ID' is no longer the brunt of campus jokes."
"Today marks a new beginning for New Jersey's notorious motor vehicle agency," said Assembly Speaker Albio Sires (D-Hudson). "With the enactment of the 'Fix DMV' measure, the agency can finally stop being a customer-service nightmare and perform more like a motorist's dream come true."
"This bill signing means the DMV can do a better job of combating criminals who wish to obtain fraudulent identification for nefarious purposes," said Assemblyman John S. Wisniewski (D-Middlesex). "Rather, it will be an agency that prides itself on providing quality service to the millions of honest New Jersey residents who seek DMV services."
Years of inadequate funding, antiquated technology, an untrained workforce and a high turnover of employees have resulted in poor customer service and several incidents of fraud and corruption.
In order to fund the reform measure, the new law will increase the annual motor vehicle registration fee by $7. To tackle security concerns, the law will allow the agency to establish a greater police presence and install new security cameras, alarms and locks in every agency to thwart corruption and fraud.
In addition, to improve customer service, the new law will lead to Saturday hours at agencies, creation of a new telephone information center and expansion of online services in an effort to create more options for customers.
Other plans for improvement have already begun. DMV has enacted its customer service initiatives, including the first phase of DMV-mandated customer service training and the issuance of employee nametags.
Earlier this month, the Governor extended the time period of the initial inspections of new vehicles from two to four years after a review concluded that vehicles up to four years old had minimal safety and emissions problems. The extension provides the DMV with an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to improve customer service.
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