My experience with the FARS system has been as follows:
Made my initial fpid application on Feb 22,2019. Both reference emails were sent out almost immediately. Picked an appointment to be fingerprinted and printed the confirmation page out.
Feb 24,2019 one reference completed the questionnaire, got an email confirmation.
Feb 26, 2019 visited my local PD in Monroe Twp, Middlesex county to pay my $5 fee and confirm my name and address info was correct. Told me I didn't need the mental health form if NJ resident for last 10 years as others have stated. (I saw the incorrect info on the NJSP site others have mentioned) Told me I will receive a email when the application is complete and approved, but to wait for them to call before coming to pickup the card.
Feb 27, 2019 second reference completed questionnaire, got email confirmation. Got my fingerprinting done. They verified my name and address was correct.
Mar 2, 2019 got an email stating my criminal history check was completed.
Mar 13, 2019 got an email stating my application was approved and complete
Mar 14, 2019 got a call from my local PD to come pickup my card. The records clerk instructed me to verify all info was correct before signing. My middle initial was incorrect. They verified that it was correct on the application and matched the info on my dl and placed the blame on wherever the card was typed up. Now waiting for a corrected card to be prepared, was told I will be called when it is ready. So I guess the cards themselves are still manually typed even though all the applications, fingerprints, etc are done electronically based on the correct info I supplied through FARS.
Overall my local pd was very efficient, helpful, professional through the process and I have no complaints at all with them. The updates from FARS were nice to have. Typical of this state to take an almost completely electronically conducted process and bungle it up while performing the very last step manually, after being told by "them" on 3 different occasions to make sure all of my info was correct or I would have to submit another application and pay again. I will update when the correct card is in my possession.