They arrived at the Department of Motor Vehicles in Newton around 5 a.m. Even Dunkin’ Donuts was closed.
Some had arrived at 10:30 p.m. the night before and set up right by the door. They slept in camping chairs.
By 6:24 a.m., 40 to 50 people were lined up waiting, more than 90 minutes before the office opened. There was a chill in the air – right through to the bones.
Newcomers asked, “Where’s the back of the line?” Waaay back there, about two blocks.
Wael from North Bergen had heard the Newton DMV was one of the best in New Jersey. “Look at this professional line,” he said, pointing to the 30 people waiting patiently ahead of him.
George from Morristown and another George from Hamburg were having a good time laughing and talking together, even though they had just met.
“Motor Vehicles is like a football game. At the end of the game, everyone is talking to each other,” said George from Morristown.
“Thank God. I was wondering, ‘What am I going to do for three hours.’ I’m enjoying it,” said George from Hamburg.
Currently, the Newton DMV is available only for registrations, titles, and license plates.
Wael and the Georges were finished at around 8:40 a.m. The sun was warming up.