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The Commissioner's Report
Fix DMV Commission issues
highlighting need for secure
facilities and documents
James E. McGreevey established the "Fix DMV"
Commission and appointed Commissioner Jamie Fox to lead
it. In August, the Commission, which includes distinguished
members from state government and the private sector,
issued an interim report and made recommendations that
are the first steps toward modernizing New Jersey's
Division of Motor Vehicles.
Commission will issue an in-depth report addressing
technology and modernization followed by a final report
due in early October. This will include comprehensive
recommendations that will focus on creating an organization
with resources and safeguards for security and integrity
of facilities and documents and the ability to revamp
the Division of Motor Vehicles into a modern, secure
and customer-oriented agency.
interim report followed an extensive hearing in July
at which hundreds of citizens candidly offered testimony
or wrote in about their experiences at DMV agencies.
Much of the testimony and comments given to the Commission
was extremely blunt. One citizen witnessed "clerks
verbally harassing customers, bordering on abuse."
Another, quite graphically, said a visit to a DMV agency
was akin to "the Bataan Death March."
own personal experience in obtaining a New Jersey driver
license was wholly unsatisfactory," said Commissioner
the Fix DMV Commission is continuing its deliberations
on structural, financial and operational reforms, recurring
customer service and security lapses required the Commission
to respond quickly.
consensus of the Commission is that the DMV's structure
must change along with its business practices and technology.
In addition, a steady source of funding for the DMV
must be identified if we are to implement meaningful
reform. Governor McGreevey's current budget includes
an additional $7 million for agency modernization.
Jersey has unfortunately earned a national reputation
for motor vehicle documents, especially licenses and
titles, which can be illegally reproduced or tampered
with easily. This jeopardizes our personal and national
state is moving quickly to implement a digitized driver
license that will all but eliminate tampering and fraud.
The digitized license is an improvement over the current
photo license because the image of the motorist cannot
be altered without destroying the license itself and
additional driver information can be encoded on a bar
code or magnetic strip. One of the interim recommendations
is to award a contract to implement this badly needed
program by early 2003.