Was it the long-ago name change from DMV to MVC that did it? Was there a shift in the mindset? Was it an aligning of the planets? The new name and era began in 2003. All I know is when it was called the Division of Motor Vehicles conducting business there was a living hell.

My first exposure was Rahway. Back in the day the severe treatment you received felt like induction day for new prisoners at Shawshank. I was waiting for the cavity search and delousing at any moment. Workers screaming at you for no reason, making your their verbal punching bag for whatever was wrong in their miserable lives. Botched paper work. Insufferably long lines and slow civil servants. I remember they had a police officer stationed there and I recall thinking it was probably to protect the workers and the customers from killing each other.

I don't know what Rahway is like anymore, or the various other offices I went to around the state when it was DMV. But these days I live in Hunterdon County and use the Flemington branch. My driver license was expiring at the end of August and I needed to go in for renewal.

Oh, you're wondering why I didn't renew by mail? Because I need my license for December at an airport past the deadline when Real ID is supposed to be in place. I waited, hoping Real ID would have the kinks worked out by the end of the month but no such luck. So I'll have to go back soon.

Honestly though that's my own complaint. The MVC office (Motor Vehicle Commission these days) in Flemington is always a pleasure. They are organized. They are friendly. They are competent. They leave me very little to write about. Then I thought, hmmm, why not write something positive? Honestly, I've been there several times already so it's never a fluke that they treat people with respect, never cop an attitude, and get you in and out as quickly as possible.

I went one morning before work and got there 15 minutes before they opened their doors. I wanted to be among the first. Turns out I was the first. Now keep in mind the other times I've gone I went later in the morning but was still out in no time. This day though, it was even more of a breeze.

They opened the doors right on time. I walked in at 8:00 and walked out with my new license at 8:22. Amazing. From what I hear, most MVC locations are very good now. The DMV horror stories seem to be largely a thing of the past. Thanks Flemington! You guys rock!

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