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The Commissioner's Report


Fix DMV Commission issues interim
report highlighting need for secure
facilities and documents

Governor 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.

The 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.

The 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."

"My own personal experience in obtaining a New Jersey driver license was wholly unsatisfactory," said Commissioner Fox.

While 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.

The 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.

New 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 security.

The 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.
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  Department of Transportation
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  Trenton, NJ 08625-0600
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  Last Updated:  January 21, 2005