Gov. Chris Christie helps mother get son replacement driver's permit

Toni Yates Image
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Gov. Christie helps NJ mom at DMV
Toni Yates has the story of how Gov. Christie helped out a New Jersey mom and her son at the Motor Vehicles Commission.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- Gov. Chris Christie made a special trip to help a New Jersey teen replace a damaged driver's permit after his mother pleaded for help.

Christie escorted 17-year-old Isaac Pilato and his mother to the state Motor Vehicle Commission office in South Plainfield Thursday after Stacey Pilato called into Christie's monthly "Ask the Governor" radio show on New Jersey's 101.5 FM Wednesday night and told Christie she has no luck replacing the permit that got damaged in the wash when her son left it in his jeans.

She told the governor she went to five MVC locations and couldn't get a replacement, spending four months in the effort.

Christie initially joked he should have the MVC commissioner deliver the permit, but then the governor decided to go, telling Pilato, "we may actually get some action here."

As promised on his radio show, Christie met Stacey and Isaac Pilato at the motor vehicles office.

"The problem was that the folks here did not give these folks clear instructions about what they needed to bring to replace the permit," Christie said. "And then quite frankly, I think they got frustrated in there and didn't remember that these are our customers."

Christie spoke with the MVC staff inside, getting Isaac's permit problem solved.

"Most of our MVC employees do a really good job," Christie said. "But all you need to be is one frustrated New Jerseyan with any of the ways you interact with government, and you get a bad taste in your month."

Christie offered assurances that this was not a publicity stunt.

"We've done this a number of times over the years," he said. "One was a mom whose son needed a contractors permit. They kept saying, 'It's on the pile, we'll get to it.'"

And Christie says it's not over, that he wants to get to the bottom of the customer service issue and ensure it is not a regular problem at MVC offices.

"He said he's going to try to even out the situations with the MVC from now on," Isaac Pilato said. "I'm pretty lucky, pretty lucky."

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)