Office of the Governor
McGreevey Announces Tougher Security
Initiatives for DMV Facilities Throughout New Jersey
State and Federal Government Work Together to Improve Agency
(Lodi) - In an effort to reduce identity theft and fraud, Governor James E. McGreevey today announced that the state and federal governments will be working in partnership to implement tougher security measures at New Jersey's Division of Motor Vehicles facilities.
Joined by Congressman Steven Rothman, Transportation Commissioner James Fox and DMV Director-designate Diane Legreide at the Lodi DMV, the Governor thanked the Congressman for his support in seeking federal funding for security initiatives that will reduce fraud at DMV offices throughout the state.
"I am grateful to Congressman Rothman, who is a member of the Appropriations Committee, for helping New Jersey secure the federal funds necessary to maximize security at DMV facilities throughout the State," said McGreevey. "Until this year, there has been no increase in state funding for the DMV since 1989, yet, the need for improvements at the Division still exist. Working in partnership with the federal government, we are going to find the money to move this agency in the right direction."
"In the wake of September 11th, we all realize how important security checks are. But if people can obtain fake IDs at their local DMV branch, then the effectiveness of security checks will be dangerously undermined," Rothman said. "I will go back to Washington and tell my fellow Appropriation Committee members and all of my colleagues that increased funding for additional and necessary security resources at DMV offices is crucial to the safety of all Americans, not just the people of New Jersey. This is a priority that must be addressed immediately."
The Governor said immediate reforms are needed due to recent findings that there is a lucrative black market operation for false and illegal driver's permits and licenses.
Transportation Commissioner Fox described two new immediate initiatives that the State can implement to address security concerns-modernizing computers for the 45 DMV agency locations and increasing the State Police staff assigned to the DMV from six half-time to six full-time officers.
"In his FY 03 budget, the Governor has allocated $7.5 million towards the modernization of DMV's," said Commissioner Fox. "It is the first investment in the DMV in 15 years and is an example of this Administration's commitment to improving this agency and making it more efficient. In addition, by doubling the number of State Police officers who are assigned to the DMV, we will undoubtedly be able to prosecute more unlawful employees."
In addition to these two proposals, the Administration will also be working to obtain federal funding for other security initiatives, including background checks for DMV employees, improving physical security at DMV facilities and making improvements to New Jersey's title database.
"Last month, I charged the newly created Fix DMV Commission with finding ways to make DMV's throughout the state operate more securely and more efficiently," said McGreevey. "While the Commission will recommend a comprehensive reform of the agency by August 1st, there are a number of measures we can begin to implement right away to reduce identify theft and fraud."
On April 4th, the Governor charged the Fix DMV Commission with addressing systemic concerns of vulnerable security, weak document control and poor customer service at the state's Division of Motor Vehicles. The Commission includes former Attorney General Cary Edwards, former Public Advocate Stanley Van Ness, former Attorney General John Degnan and former New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Alan B. Handler, as well as a number of Cabinet members and administration officials.