TRENTON — Two-month extensions have been granted by the Motor Vehicle Commission for those whose drivers licenses, auto registration and inspections are due for renewal by May 31 in an effort to encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The move comes as people have been reporting up to three-hour waits on lines at MVC offices as people clamor to get their Real ID. People without passports will be required to have a Real ID in order to fly domestically next year.

“Keeping New Jerseyans out of crowded Motor Vehicle agencies is another step we can take to limit exposure and hold the line against the spread of COVID-19," Motor Vehicle Commission Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said in a statement. "Extending the expiration dates will reduce the numbers of customers who come through our agencies daily, helping us to reduce the risk to New Jerseyans.”

Gov. Phil Murphy announced the extension during his daily press conference updating the coronavirus outbreak in New Jersey.

For expiration dates falling in March, the renewal deadline is extended to May; for expiration dates falling in April, the renewal deadline is extended to June; for expiration dates falling in May, the renewal deadline is extended to July.

The statement did not mention if MVC branch offices would change their hours.

Fulton also encouraged customers to renew licenses and registrations at the MVC website.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, took credit for making the suggestion to the governor. He initially suggested it during an interview with CBS 2 New York about long lines at MVC officers because of people scrambling to get their Real ID licenses by the end of the year.

“I said to the governor directly, either extend expiration dates or open these places 24/7. But letting people stand outside six-seven hours is absolutely a disgrace,” Bramnick told CBS New York.

But he said that extending hours at MVC offices is not realistic.

"Probably not. Not enough staff," Bramnick told New Jersey 101.5.

Murphy during Friday's press conference said he wrote a letter to the federal government suggesting an extension for the Oct. 1 deadline that requires a Real ID driver’s license or a passport to fly commercially or enter a federal facility.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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