First-time drivers are finding it difficult to schedule road tests at MVC offices
Soon-to-be teen drivers in New Jersey are struggling to apply for permits and to take written exams.
Long lines, closed offices and no available appointments are just some of the issues New Jersey residents are facing when trying to schedule appointments with the state Motor Vehicle Commission.
“All the locations, no appointments available. From Trenton to Atlantic City, there is no appointment available,” says Jitendra Mavadia with Vision Driving School.
Mavadia says that the issues with the MVC are affecting his first-time drivers, especially those who are older than 16, which is the cut-off age for driving schools to issue licensing.
“If the person becomes 17, then we cannot touch it. The parents have to do the permit, they have to make an appointment to get the permit. They have to make the appointment to do the vision test at the DMV,” Mavadia says.
The MVC has been plagued with problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now those issues are making it nearly impossible for teens to find appointments for the services that were once easily scheduled.
“Once they pass the knowledge test, then they’ll get the permit. And the permit is good for driving for three months. Depending on their age, six months, the waiting period to get a road test, and then they get the license. But those appointments are impossible to get."
Mavadia says some of his students are even forced to make appointments in the middle of the night in hopes of snagging a much-coveted time slot.
“Probably at that time, they might be refreshing their computers so the slots open up and you can see it…it doesn't work for all of them,” Mavadia says.
At a hearing earlier this year, MVC officials said the agency was inundated with customers after it was re-opened in July post-pandemic shut down. Backlogs and office closures because of COVID-19 outbreaks were cited as some of the reasons for the agency's shortcomings
Vision Driving School did tell News 12 New Jersey that licensing is where most of the issues are arising, but car services aren't seeing nearly as many issues.