In the pandemic world of 2020, nothing is more normal, especially the trip to the auto agency or the inspection post.
A four-month shutdown of the National Motor Vehicle Commission facilities due to the coronavirus, several extensions to document expiration dates and the subsequent reopening has led to confusion among drivers over what to do. Pilots are confused about the new MVC command, and some have turned to NJ Advance Media for help.
We have sent some of these reader questions to the MVC for definitive answers.
One question relates to extended vehicle registration and inspection.
This reader said his vehicle registration expired in June, but the MVC extended the expiration date to December 31, to reduce lines at agencies. However, the inspection sticker for this vehicle expired in September.
He asked if his current and extended registration will be considered valid if he has his vehicle inspected or does he have to renew it first? Would the registration extension cover her inspection sticker, even though it expired in a different month?
The answer is much simpler than we expected, according to William Connolly, a spokesperson for MVC.
“The customer must bring their vehicle in for inspection and they can use their existing vehicle registration for the inspection,” Connolly said. “Registration with the extension until December 31st is considered valid. “
This extension does not cover the vehicle inspection sticker, as it expired in September, he said. No extensions have been issued by the MVC for the September documents.
“He should have his vehicle inspected as soon as possible,” Connolly said.
This can be done in an MVC inspection facility or in one of the thousands of private facilities listed on the MVC website.
The second question is asked by a driver who wants to get a Real ID compliant driver’s license. This license is a more secure document accepted for identification at airports for domestic air travel. The MVC began issuing Real ID licenses in September 2019 by appointment, which stopped when branches were closed in mid-March as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus.
Now that agencies reopened on July 7, do drivers need to make an appointment to get a Real ID license or can they just go to an agency that is a licensing center? The answers are no and no, except under certain conditions, Connolly said.
“The MVC does not currently offer Real IDs by appointment,” he said.
Drivers can visit an MVC licensing center to get a real ID if they meet one of the four conditions.
A driver can get a real ID if it’s time to renew their standard license or if they have an MVC email verifying that a previous appointment to get a real ID has been canceled, Connolly said. Drivers who have moved from another state and are transferring their license to New Jersey or getting a driver’s license for the first time can also apply for real ID, he said.
Remember that drivers must bring nine identification “points” to prove who they are, what their social security number is, where they live, and whether they are citizens of the agency to obtain a Real ID license. A good way to choose the right documents to bring is to use the document picker on the MVC website.
Drivers have more time to get that real identity. The original deadline for having a real ID of October 1 has been extended by one year to October 1, 2021 by the federal government.
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Larry Higgs can be reached at [email protected].