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    Chapter 2A:

      Section: 39:2A-2: Findings, declarations relative to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

          2. The Legislature finds and declares that:

a. The Division of Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) is one of the State's principal customer service agencies with regular and direct contact with virtually every citizen;

b. The DMV has over 15 million contacts a year with the public, including 39 million transactions, more than any other State agency;

c. The DMV has responsibility for issuing and certifying motor vehicle driver's licenses, ensuring the proper registration of motor vehicles, as well as conducting safety and emissions inspections of motor vehicles;

d. The public expects courteous, efficient and accessible service from government agencies, including the DMV;

e. The DMV's failed security systems are contributing to a growing national problem of identity theft that is costing New Jersey and the nation millions of dollars each week;

f. In the past, the DMV has been unable to deal with fraud and corruption because of inadequate funding, training, security, internal controls and oversight;

g. The DMV must improve its security system and equipment, and its fraud detection, training and monitoring so that fraudulent driver's licenses, such as those used in the furtherance of terroristic activities, will be eliminated;

h. Internal audits and controls and investigations are also needed to detect patterns of fraud, theft, corruption, identity theft and mismanagement in the issuance of driver's licenses, registrations, and titles because DMV documents must be more resistant to compromise;

i. Criminals have used counterfeit passports, Social Security cards, county identification cards, pay stubs and W-2 forms to obtain fraudulent driver's licenses and identification cards in furtherance of identity-theft schemes;

j. Proper identification must be required at all phases of the licensing and driver testing process to assure that only those persons qualified to legally obtain licenses do so;

k. It is essential that DMV records be matched with Social Security Administration records, when presented, in order to verify the validity of Social Security numbers in DMV databases;

l. Cameras, armed security guards, panic buttons, alarms, safety upgrades, card access systems and door replacements are needed in order to prevent fraud;

m. Employees or agents of the DMV should be required to undergo background checks and fingerprinting;

n. Cleaning crews and maintenance workers at DMV facilities must be supervised by DMV employees to ensure the security of DMV records;

o. In a time of rapidly changing information technology and Internet communications, the DMV lacks an information technology plan to bring it to the 21st Century and still operates on a decades-old computer network with patchwork hardware, antiquated software and obsolete display terminals that lack processing abilities;

p. Previous DMV efforts to implement complex technological mandates have failed, due to bureaucratic mismanagement, inefficient planning and inadequate oversight, as characterized by reports of the State Commission of Investigation;

q. The DMV has become a reactive agency, struggling to keep up with the demands of newly legislated responsibilities, and without the necessary resources to prevent fraud and corruption at its front-line agencies and without the ability to provide even adequate service to its six million customers;

r. The DMV needs a strategic business plan, which is a key to the operation of an agency, and must work within the confines of such plan in an effort to adopt best practices, improve customer service and gain back the confidence of New Jersey citizens and the Legislature;

s. The DMV's privatization of some of its agencies in July 1995 has created poor, disjointed and confused service delivery without consistency among the agencies in terms of policies and procedures, which has led to confusion and frustration in the minds of New Jersey citizens;

t. The DMV privatization has also resulted in poorly paid employees who have received inadequate benefits, resulting in a high turnover rate at DMV agencies;

u. A major benefit to a State-operated DMV system is the ability to centralize anti-fraud policies and procedures;

v. Historically, the privately-operated local motor vehicle agencies have been plagued with long lines, poor customer service and inadequate business practices that have routinely caused network delays and failures for hours at a time;

w. The DMV would be in a better position to plan for long-term improvements, replacements and daily operations if it had a dedicated and consistent source of funding;

x. In order to address the various problems with the DMV, a "FIX DMV Commission" was formed on April 25, 2002, by Governor's Executive Order Number 19 to conduct a comprehensive review of the DMV and to make recommendations on the restructuring and reorganization of the agency;

y. The "FIX DMV Commission" has reported that the DMV is in crisis and has recommended that a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission be formed in, but not of, the Department of Transportation to replace the current New Jersey Division of Motor Vehicles with the purposes of: (1) identifying and regulating drivers and motor vehicles to deter unlawful and unsafe acts; (2) identifying and correcting vehicle defects and limiting the amount of vehicle-produced air pollution; (3) focusing on and responding to customer service and security issues; and (4) effectuating change by bringing greater attention and resources to the needs of the organization;

z. It is therefore in the public interest to create a New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, the duties of which would include, but not be limited to: (1) addressing the multitude of functions assigned to it while curtailing fraudulent and criminal activities that present threats to the State's security system; (2) following a multi-year strategic business plan that is constantly reviewed and updated, thus avoiding the need for the cyclical reforms that have characterized its history; and (3) conducting operations on a fiscal year budget, controlling fees sufficient to fund the budget, adopting regulations regarding processes and fees; and implementing an annual strategic business plan.

L.2003, c.13, s.2; amended 2019, c.271, s.2.

This section added to the Rutgers Database: 2020-01-14 12:58:20.

Older versions of 39:2A-2 (if available):

Court decisions that cite this statute: CLICK HERE.