NJ To Study Privatizing Motor Vehicle Inspections

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. May 7, 2013

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Motor Vehicle Commission chief administrator Ray Martinez testifies before the Assembly Budget Committee (photo by Phil Gregory)

After running out this weekend, the contract for Parsons Corporation to operate the state-run vehicle inspection stations in New Jersey has been extended for three years.  Officials are studying whether to privatize the inspection system.

New Jersey drivers now have the choice of paying a private garage to do an emissions inspection or having it done without charge at a state facility.

The $20 per vehicle cost for Parsons to do the job is funded by the motor vehicle fees that drivers pay.

Assembly budget committee chairman Vinnie Prieto wonders what will happen to that money if the inspections are privatized.

“Would those fees go back to the residents or would they have to pay an additional fee or a new tax that would have to come out of their pockets?”

Motor Vehicle Commission chief administrator Ray Martinez says that’s still to be decided.

“There’s certainly the possibility that a rebate could be done to consumers, but we’re not prepared to go down that road right now. That’s going to take some evaluation.”

Martinez says more than 80 percent of inspections in New Jersey are done at the state facilities, but the nationwide trend is toward privatization.

He says the three year extension with Parsons gives the consultant time to consider what to do without the need to take quick action that could hurt customer service.


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