As the New Year begins, New Jersey Motor Vehicle centers continue to sporadically shut down after an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton said the MVC has been moving as many transactions as possible online to minimize the need for drivers to show up at an agency. Nearly 75% of MVC transactions are no longer done in person at the MVC, she said.

Fulton noted for some MVC business you still have to go into an agency office, and that includes Real ID, which federal regulators are eventually requiring for domestic air travel or visits to federal buildings. Because of the pandemic, the deadline to obtain a Real ID was pushed back to October.

Fulton said as more and more New Jersey residents realize the clock is ticking on this, and if the deadline is not adjusted, “we’re going to increase those appointments, and we’ll see what happens on a national basis.”

She said the MVC is "not going to risk anyone’s life or the lives of their loved ones in order to do a license or a vehicle transaction. Safety has to be first.”

The MVC is also looking at shortening the time that people need to spend at MVC agencies by looking at "ways to do some part of your transaction online prior to arriving at the agency," Fulton said.

“That’s a little more complicated,” she said. “That requires some scanning capabilities but we continue to work on that, and I think 2021 will give us an opportunity to do that.”

Fulton noted many people continue to show up at agency offices for a transaction that could have been done online. She recommends that people go to the MVC website and clicking on the "How Do I?" cheat sheet link for information on whether you need to make an appointment or do it online.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at

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