With ongoing problems at motor vehicle offices across New Jersey, Gov. Chris Christie has announced a series of initiatives aimed at improving customer service and lowering wait times.

Customers at the MVC office agreed that improvements are needed.

According to Morristown resident Chelsea Pais, the MVC has a horrible reputation.

“You say I’m going over to the Motor Vehicle Commission, everybody goes, 'Oh, good luck!' It’s like one of those things. I don’t think that changed,” she said.

Don Tensfeldt, of Randolph, believes things aren’t as bad as they used to be but sometimes there are still issues.

“They had a computer problem a couple of weeks ago. We came to get my daughter’s drivers license upgraded, and there was a line around the building so we just kept going,” he said.

Alice Denino, of Lake Hopatcong, said going into an MVC office was a miserable experience.

“They forgot to validate by daughter's learning permit this morning, which meant a return trip to get the paperwork in order,” she said. “It’s a little frustrating for the fact that they should have done their job properly.”

She added that “hopefully MVC workers will be willing to do their job, and be more pleasant because some of them aren’t the nicest people you would want to run into.”

Julia Sivic, of Denville, who’s heading back to college at the end of the week, had big problems when she tried to get her license renewed.

“It’s very frustrating because, I mean I leave on Friday and I went twice last week and the computers were down and one time the line was two hours and I wasn’t going to wait for two hours,” she said.

Sivic finally got her situation straightened out Wednesday afternoon.

Ray Martinez, chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, cringes when he hears these stories.

“I know this business and it is a work in progress. Some of it is IT related. We have some work to do in New Jersey,” he said.

Martinez pointed out he’s been a Motor Vehicle Commissioner in New York as well as New Jersey and “I know pretty much how the vehicle systems work in all of the jurisdictions in the United States, but we’re taking good, positive steps that we know have worked in other places and I think will bring positive results for New Jersey.”

He suggested some actions people can take to make their experience smoother.

He said the first step should be “check our website to see whether you can do your transaction online. We’re going to be doing some outreach to try and get the word out about our website.”

He also said checking the website can help “walk you through what documents you’ll need to do whatever transaction you want if you do have to come into an office.”

Martinez said "the agency is committed to lowering wait times and improving customer service, and as part of that, customers expect to be able to do these transactions as much as possible by mail, online, by phone, etc.”

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Contact reporter David Matthau at David.Matthau@townsquaremedia.com.