MVC: Expect crowds, long lines once REAL ID goes live

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The head of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission says New Jersey residents should expect large crowds and long lines at MVC office once REAL ID licenses become available.

New Jersey is one of only several states not currently offering REAL IDs, which will be necessary for anyone who wishes to use their driver’s license as a form of identification to fly at an airport, under a federal mandate.

MVC Chief Administrator Sue Fulton says that New Jersey should have REAL IDs available by June. She says the plan starts with massive technology upgrades, a change in operating hours and hiring more nearly 300 employees.

“For these reasons, I made the decision not to start issuing REAL ID until we made the changes that would minimize the impact our customers,” Fulton says.

RELATED: The "Real ID" program – Heads up if you use your license as ID when flying 
RELATED: New Jersey to roll out upgraded REAL IDs by summer 2019 

The cost of the identification will be $11 if the driver’s license isn’t expired and $12 for a renewal. But there are 6.4 million drivers in New Jersey – all of which will need to make the switch eventually. Fulton says that customers should have patience.

“There are going to be crowds. There are going to be long lines,” she says.

The MVC was notoriously known for computer problems due to outdated and stressed technology. Fulton says that upgrades have made the process better and says that she is confident the REAL ID rollout will go smoothly.

“We know that every state is looking at how they’re going to get through the next 18 months,” she says. “It’s going to be very tough but we are doing everything we can.”

Fulton says, “The people of New Jersey deserve that when they walk into our agency that we are ready for them and we get them in and we get them out, and that's what we're gonna do."

The MVC says that they aren’t prepared to announce which area will begin beta testing the REAL ID in June. Customers can sign up for alerts at the MVC’s website.

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