P.O. Box 160
RELEASE: January 27, 2009
MVC Now a Model of Excellence in Freehold Township
(FREEHOLD) – Reaffirming the Motor Vehicle Commission’s (MVC) commitment to bringing more effective service to New Jersey’s nearly 6 million licensed motorists, Chief Administrator Sharon A. Harrington, joined by state and local officials, today officially opened a new, modernized Freehold Motor Vehicle Agency in Freehold Township. The facility is the first MVC Model Agency to be built from the ground up on state-owned land.
“This is the future of motor vehicle services in New Jersey,” said Harrington. “Following years of careful planning and a wise investment in infrastructure, I am pleased to unveil one of the MVC’s greatest customer service achievements – an agency built to the exact specifications that will allow staff to serve the public in the most efficient manner possible.”
The new agency, located at 811 Okerson Road, replaces the smaller facility at Poet’s Square on Thoreau Drive in Freehold. Relocation of the agency provides one-stop-shopping for MVC customers with the new facility located adjacent to the Freehold Inspection Station. Additional motor vehicle services, such as those offered at Regional Service Centers and the Trenton Office Complex may also be introduced at the new agency in 2009.
The new agency features 15 customer service windows, three photo stations, 10 driver testing terminals, two training rooms and expanded customer waiting areas and parking. In addition, the new building has many green components aimed at reducing energy costs for the state, such as recycled rubber flooring, a window wall and skylight for more natural light, white roofing to reflect heat and automatic sensors on light and bathroom fixtures.
The design of the new facility was created by architects from STV Incorporated and built by Gingerelli Brothers Construction Company. The STV design will be used for Model Agencies constructed in the future. Presently in the works is a new facility in Flemington with plans in 2009 for additional sites in Randolph and South Brunswick. All will be located next to an inspection station on state-owned land.
Funding for renovations and construction of a number of Model Agencies was established through a bond included in the Motor Vehicle Security & Customer Service Act of 2003. The dedicated funds continue to be used to enhance existing facilities and build new Model Agencies to better serve New Jersey residents.
“Today’s event is not simply the recognition of a grand opening, but the result of careful planning, smart budgeting and a focus on the customer,” said Harrington. “When a decision was made years ago to move forward with this and other Model Agency projects, we saw it as an investment that would yield many positive benefits in the future.”
In addition to the many customer service-related improvements, construction of the Freehold Agency, which occurred throughout 2008, has provided a positive boost to the economy with both the architectural and construction vendors selected as low bidders from a competitive selection process conducted by the Department of Treasury’s Division of Property and Construction Management. With the importance of saving every penny, the state will also gain a savings of nearly $120,000 annually due to the elimination of the previously leased Freehold Agency.
Also highlighted during the ceremony was the conclusion of the MVC’s efforts to transfer New Jersey’s nearly six million licensed drivers from laminated, paper licenses to the security-enhanced Digital Driver License (DDL). As of December 2008, the state became 100 percent digital. The process, which began with the issuance of the first DDL in January 2004, took the New Jersey driver license from being one of the most easily duplicated to one of the most secure in the entire nation. Plans are already underway for the next generation of driver licenses referred to as Enhanced Digital Driver License (EDDL).
“The MVC really has come a long way in five short years,” added Harrington. “Focusing our limited resources on only those projects and initiatives that are critical to delivering core motor vehicle services demonstrates to the taxpayers of New Jersey that we are a wise steward of public dollars. Enhancements to service, security and safety are a great return on this investment.