The mere idea of visiting the RMV is a dreary nightmare to many: taking a number, filling out paper work, waiting, and waiting… and waiting. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has recognized your impatience and frustration of visiting a branch in creating numerous opportunities for drivers to complete transactions and other. For a number of drivers who are still required to visit a branch, the RMV has made the visit an even less stressful process.
The registry is working on creating additional web functions for new drivers and new Massachusetts residents to set meeting times to process paperwork without the wait. The RMV tested a pilot program at its Springfield branch for the past few months, and with its success will now make the service available statewide. During the pilot a total of 89 customers scheduled appointments.
The Massachusetts RMV website mass.gov/rmv holds an interactive guide that will walk applicants through the process and notify the driver of required documents that will be needed at the meeting to verify identity and residency.
The Patrick-Murray Administration has increased the Massachusetts Department of Transportation efforts to strengthen customer service through online RMV services, the Accelerated Bridge Program, and now with spreading a free 511 service. The next generation of 511 traveler information service, as the press release describes it, is at no cost to the Commonwealth. Mass DOT will is partnering with Sendza, a growing Massachusetts communications software company based in Marlborough to make the 511 travelers information service available May of 2010.
This is the first time 511 traveler information will be available statewide as it was previously only available in eastern Massachusetts. The traveler information will give drivers the ability to automatically receive personalized travel information alerts via e0mail, text, or phone. The partnership with Sendza is of no cost to the state creating a one time savings of $4.1 million and a $1.2 million annual savings for MassDOT. The 511 information service currently handles about 500,000 a month. The Sendza-based 511 system is not only capable of this but holds the capacity for significant growth as the system’s availability spreads.
This partnership is a perfect example of our new transportation reform approach, working to deliver better statewide service to travelers at a reduced cost to taxpayers
-Governor Deval Patrick
July 21, 2000 the Federal Communications Commission designated 511 as the single traffic information telephone number for use by states and local jurisdictions. Traveler information systems have helped reduce travel times, decrease fuel consumption, and reduce the number of accidents. Massachusetts implemented 511 on October 15, 2007 providing real time traffic, transit, weather, and construction. The 511 traveler information is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year.
The new Mass511 system will go live in May 2010. For the latest information, check back at www.mass.gov/511 To learn more about Sendza, visit www.Sendza.com.
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.
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!