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No End In Sight For Wallington Motor Vehicle Line

“We were young when we went in,” said Helen Boyd and Lorraine Mallett, both of Rutherford. The pair went to get their licenses renewed.
“We were young when we went in,” said Helen Boyd and Lorraine Mallett, both of Rutherford. The pair went to get their licenses renewed. Photo Credit: Cindy Capitani
Long lines at the Wallington Motor Vehicle Commission on Monday.
Long lines at the Wallington Motor Vehicle Commission on Monday. Photo Credit: Cindy Capitani
People standing outside in the heat at the Wallington motor vehicle office can see empty seats through the window.
People standing outside in the heat at the Wallington motor vehicle office can see empty seats through the window. Photo Credit: Cindy Capitani

People took to their phones while standing in the hot sun outside Wallington motor vehicle on Monday, venting to anyone who would listen: local police, state troopers, the health department.

Maybe it was the 90-degree temperatures that pushed people, perhaps it was the non-answers from the police in charge of line control, or the supervisor who came out upon request, only to complain herself.

“There is no reason to be nasty,” Herman Woods of Hasbrouck Heights said, overhearing the supervisor yell at those requesting her presence. Woods decided to go home. “State workers…” he muttered as he walked off wiping his brow.

Legislators have heard the cries and last week Gov. Chris Christie announced changes, like staggering renewal dates, deploying mobile units and even working with AAA to create registration kiosks at their locations. More staff will also be hired and a technology specialist called in too.

Roll-out dates for these changes, however, weren’t announced.

Motor vehicle departments are located in:

  • Lodi
  • Paramus
  • Oakland
  • Wayne
  • Wallington

Glenn Orr from Elmwood Park was taken aback, by all of it -- the outside line, the length of it and the rudeness of the supervisor. “My wife works for the state, and she doesn’t treat people like this. These people don’t care at all about anyone on this line.”

Rows of empty seats in the air conditioned room, visible from the hot, sunny line outside, made people angrier, since no explanation was forthcoming.

“This (line) is better than Lodi, but not by much. There is a little more shade over there,” said George Janowicz from Saddle Brook, who set himself up in Wallington’s line, prepared for the 2-plus hour wait after trying different motor vehicle offices last week.

“This is how they (the state) gets change made. They cut the services that make people suffer and complain the most.”

Complaints about the state’s motor vehicle agencies began in 2015 following budget cuts that affected both the number of employees and a computer system in need of upgrades.

People screaming — and even sobbing — on their phones while standing in these heatwave-fueled lines all summer has made an impact.

Dolly Khouri of Fair Lawn, waiting for 90 minutes for a driver’s license renewal, said it’s always worse at the end of the month. “All of the (MVCs) make people wait outside now. There’s not enough room. They should have an awning at least.”

Around 3 p.m., two senior citizens emerged from the glass doors laughing.

“We were young when we went in,” said Helen Boyd and Lorraine Mallett, both of Rutherford. The pair said their three-hour wait was mostly inside. “We can’t complain too much but we’re glad to get out of there.”

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