Monday a new five dollar fee was put into effect for drivers who spoke with a Massachusetts RMV representative over the phone or at a branch looking to renew a license, a registration or request a duplicate license. Many drivers saw this registry fee as a “back door” tax. The new charge came as an unpleasant surprise to both drivers and politicians. The measure was meant to encourage the use of the online RMV system to complete transactions rather than visiting a branch in an effort to decrease operation costs.
Due to much outrage and distaste by the public and lawmakers alike, the five dollar fee has been removed. The Registrar stated in its rescinding publication it understands the government’s concern in that the additional five dollar fee would bring an unduly burden on Massachusetts drivers and in the future will not charge drivers for speaking with a representative on the phone or in a branch. The five dollar charge has been rescinded by the RMV; those who paid the fee yesterday should receive a refund via mail within the next two weeks.
The RMV’s motivation behind the rescinded fee however should not be forgotten; online services not only save the RMV money, but drivers time as well. Over the last year the Massachusetts RMV added eight new online services to better serve drivers. You can check them out at: www.mass.gov/rmv. Before going into a branch MassDOT recommends residents to first check the online website and if possible to complete transactions online, saving themselves the hassle and time of going into a branch.