New Jersey DMV and Online Forms

First off, let me clarify. It’s not the DMV – the Department of Motor Vehicles – down here. (In fact, it wasn’t the DMV back in Massachusetts, either – it was the RMV, the Registry of Motor Vehicles.) In New Jersey we have the pretentious name of “Motor Vehicle Commission.” But I’ll still just say DMV.

ANYWAY.

Obviously, I’ve moved here from out of state, with the Keithmobile-D (my car), and therefore I need to register it here and get New Jersey plates & all that jazz. So, I go to the NJ DMV website to find out what I need to do. They have a very nice section for out-of-state vehicles that explains what forms you need (although the convoluted form names make no sense, at least they are listed). Basically, I need to send a form back to my bank that has the car’s title (I’m still making payments) and get them to send a copy to the NJ DMV, then I just need to fill out a registration form and an “application for titling” – so that my car’s title (i.e. certificate of ownership) is registered here in NJ. Fairly standard DMV stuff, but whatever.

My first indication of trouble was that there were no links on the page that lists what you need to do if you have an out-of-state vehicle for the forms that you need to fill out.

My second indication was that a quick search for forms didn’t turn much up. It was only after some serious googling that I found the DMV’s “forms” page – helpfully located in the “About Us” section. Riiiiiiiight.

However, NONE of the forms I needed to fill out (all 3 of them) were available online. What the hell is the point of having an online forms section if all of the forms aren’t available?? Wouldn’t this be a really good idea? New residents might not know where a DMV office is; it would be very helpful to be able to download the necessary forms and print them out. Especially since these forms often require the VIN number to be entered on them, and if you made them, say, fillable PDF forms, you could type the VIN number in – avoiding delays caused by bad handwriting.

It is absolutely unforgivable in this day and age (2007 for crying out loud!) for a state agency as common as the DMV not to have all of its forms available on their website. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I’m sure they have some sort of crazy justification that they’ve told themselves over and over again until they believed it as to why someone would have to come into one of their offices to pick up a form, rather than download it off the Internet. Maybe I have to show ID to get it? I wouldn’t be surprised. (Don’t even get me started on what you have to do to get a license here nowadays. Can you say “papers, please?”)

Note to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission: PUT ALL OF YOUR FORMS ONLINE AS PDFs. Make them fillable while you’re at it. Your people will have an easier time reading submitted forms, and people will enjoy the convenience. Everyone wins.