MVC plans to install kiosks in municipal buildings
TRENTON – To address the digital divide as Motor Vehicle Commission transactions move increasingly online, MVC is considering setting up kiosks in offsite locations such as municipal buildings.
MVC President and Chief Executive Officer Sue Fulton told the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee in a hearing Thursday that the idea was under consideration, but did not give a timeline for its introduction .
“One of the things we would like to do where COVID-19 is a barrier is this: can you build kiosks so that people who don’t have smartphones and don’t have computers don’t have no family member? who can give them that access – especially when public libraries are closed, right? They just can’t go online, ”Fulton said.
“We would like to have kiosks in places, but they need to be in places where they can be secure because it’s personal information. They also need to be in places where we’re not going to have social distancing issues or other issues like that, ”she said.
“Maybe in areas like this you should think about putting a kiosk in a municipal building,” said Senator Patrick Diegnan, D-Middlesex, who chairs the Senate transport committee. “Something like that.”
“Exactly. That’s one of the things we’re talking about,” Fulton said. “Because our buildings close at 4:30 pm, and they’re small, and we already have capacity in these buildings. So where are the spaces? where a government agency can house that, and they’ll have the kind of protection they need. ”
Senator Sam Thompson, R-Middlesex, said the number of agency staff could likely be reduced, given that only 24% of MVC transactions are now done in person, down from 53% last year. The MVC has nearly 2,600 employees.
“If you had the staff to handle twice as much as you’re going to have, the two don’t balance out too well,” Thompson said.
Fulton said a full complement of workers would be needed in the short term to handle the new standard licenses for unauthorized immigrants, which start issuing this weekend, as well as regular driver’s licenses that meet federal REAL ID standards. .
“Although REAL ID has been delayed, it is still scheduled for May 2023,” Fulton said. “And REAL ID requires in-person transactions. We’ve issued only a fraction of it – less than 100,000 of New Jersey’s 6.5 million drivers have been granted a TRUE ID, which will impact as we get closer to that date on our need for online transactions. person who do not. t affects us right now.
“We have about two years of track to assess our real long-term need for in-person transactions,” Fulton said. “I can’t believe we won’t be able at some point to reduce in-person attendance, and that would be the employees. But it’s probably in a few years.
Senator Teresa Ruiz, D-Essex, said the MVC should focus on providing in-person service at agencies with predictable hours. She said the same applies to the one-stop career centers of the Ministry of Labor and Workforce Development, which has closed since March 2020.
“The government has to be available in a status in person regardless of the quality or how much money it saves us,” Ruiz said.
Fulton said she agreed that “full service means you serve the customer where they are.” She said the MVC does not have the capacity at the moment, but will do so after vaccinations – the first cycle of which is expected to be completed next week – and after the pandemic.
“We don’t mean to say, ‘OK, now we’re all online. We are closing agencies, ”Fulton said. “We do not intend to close a single agency.”
Michael Symons is the State House bureau chief for New Jersey 101.5. Contact him at [email protected].
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