Registry of Motor Vehicles

What You Need to Do to Renew Your Massachusetts License

Renewing your license? It’s never been easier!  Read up on some of the info you need to know for drivers license renewal in Massachusetts.

The Basics:


  • Your Massachusetts license is valid for 5 years and expires on your birthday.
  • You may renew your license up to one year prior to the expiration date.
  • The fee to renew a Class D driver’s license is $50.
  • Your temporary license is valid for 30 days but can not be used as a valid form of identification.
  • You can not renew your Mass. license at all if you have outstanding obligations or violations that have not been paid.
  • If you attempt to renew your license online you will be denied and given a list of your outstanding obligations and told how to resolve them before you visit an RMV branch and complete the renewal process.
  • Examples of outstanding obligations include unpaid parking, excise, or abandoned vehicle tickets,  fast lane violations, an outstanding warrant, or outstanding child support payments.
With online applications and express service lanes, Mass drivers can save valuable time at the RMV.  To renew online, you must first complete a questionnaire to determine eligibility. If you are able to renew online, you simply pay the $50 fee and your new license will be mailed to you in 7-10 days.  If you are not eligible, you can complete the application, print it and sign it, then bring it to any RMV branch for renewal. Examples of situations where you would not be eligible to renew online would be if you are over the age of 75, or if you are a Veteran and would like the Veteran’s indicator on your license, you must go into a branch as this can not be added during an online transaction.Don’t forget to check your license expiration date!  Make sure that you give yourself plenty of time to renew your license before it expires.  The RMV no longer mails out renewal notices so make sure to go in at least 7 days before your current license expires so that you can receive your new license on time.  The only exception to this applies to drivers that are turning 21.  If you renew your license before you turn 21, you will be issued a vertical license that reads “under 21”.  If you go in on or after your 21st birthday you will be issued the standard horizontal license.

For more information on renewing your license in MA, visit the Massachusetts RMV website or call (617) 351-4500.  You can find RMV branch locations here.

Photo By: sixninepixels

Massachusetts Laws On Temporary License Plates

Have you ever noticed a driver in front of you has stuck a pair of home made license plates on their bumper? This may be for numerous reasons from an accident to simply falling off. However if someone drives without a license plate, or one mangled to the extent it is unreadable, you can be sure a ticket for improper display is soon to follow.

Let’s say a driver has just experienced an accident resulting in illegible license plate. The vehicle is fine, only slight cosmetic damage has been done. Our driver has immediately applied for new plates from the RMV, as any driver without a license plate or an illegible plate should do. The plates however will not arrive for another four to six weeks! The driver works across Boston from his home and can not miss work tomorrow, much less for the next four weeks. In the mean time our driver must create a temporary plate. What are the requirements for this make shift license plate? Ann Dufresne gives a few guidelines:

“The legislation says approximate a standard plate as best as you can. There are no specific requirements for size, shape. It just needs to be legible from 60 feet away like a real plate. The hope is that one would use common sense.”

– RMV spokeswoman Ann Dufresne in an e-mail to Peter DeMarco of the Boston Globe

A temporary license plate must be placed in the same spot an official license plate would be located. Meaning the plates should be secured in the center of the rear or front bumper. Keep in mind when a home made license plate is placed on a rear bumper it must be illuminated. Placing temporary plates else, such as in the rear view window, will not legally replace a missing plate and the driver may be ticketed.

Creating a temporary license plate and placing it in the proper location is not enough to avoid a ticket. If you are pulled over with temporary plates you must also keep proof of the license plate application that verifies your plates are in the process of being made and on their way. If you have a question of whether or not a temporary plate will allow you to legally drive the streets, consult your local Registry of Motor Vehicles.

Beverly RMV Closing, Danvers Express Branch Opening

The Beverly Registry of Motor Vehicles branch will be closing this Friday January 23rd.  A new express branch opening Monday, January 25th in the Danvers Liberty Tree Mall will replace this location. Eight of the Beverly employees will transfer to the new Danves branch while the remaining employees transfer to other local branches. The new express branch will handle all registry transactions it has in the past with the exception of road and permit tests as well as suspension hearings.

The Massachusetts RMV experienced 13 million dollars in budget cuts this past year. In an effort to accommodate this severe decrease in funding itwas announced last July 11 branches would close. In the plan to close these branched the RMV recognized the need to continue serving Massachusetts drivers. In response to this need 5 new locations will be opened in state owned buildings ing an expected 1.7 million dollars on rent alone.

In an effort to reduce spending the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has also made many services available online. Giving drivers the convenience of accessing many documents and processing payments on their own time schedule and without having to stand in line! The Massachusetts RMV has even allowed residents to renew their license online for every other renewal period. For license renewals a driver will only have to visit the RMV every 10 years for an updated license photo.

The newest addition the Registry of Motor Vehicle’s online accessis the easy and expedient access  to accident reports. If a police officer is not present at the scene of an accident and damages are more than $1,000 or is someone is injured those involved in the accident are required to submit a police report to the Massachusetts RMV. The previously time consuming search for an accident report and the pain of waiting for a certified record to be mailed will be no more. With the new online system the RMV will be able to process a request for an accident report within 24 hours of of the record beingfound and may also be sent by e-mail. The express branch looks promising, let’s hope for few hiccups in the big move this weekend!

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