The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing that on Wednesday, March 18th it will reopen seven of its 30 customer service center locations, while asking that customers who do not have immediate needs for required in-person services delay their visits. The RMV facilities that are being reopened prioritize regional availability, accessibility and facility size and capacity. To assist with “social-distancing” and reducing facility volume, customers are asked to not bring multiple individuals with them. Meanwhile, AAA locations will continue to offer select RMV services to AAA members and road tests will be suspended indefinitely.
These steps are being taken following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9th to complement the work that has been underway for weeks across state government to keep residents safe and healthy.
“While we are re-opening seven Registry of Motor Vehicles Service Centers to address the needs of residents and business customers, we strongly encourage those who can, to conduct their business online, by phone, by mail or to postpone a visit to the RMV and take advantage of the extension of expiration dates for licenses,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “Customers should expect longer waits as we will need to limit any crowding in the centers to comply with social distancing protocols. We will be limiting the number of people allowed inside Service Centers and once those limits are reached, customers will have to either leave and come back or wait outside until it is possible to let them in while still maintaining social distancing.”
“The RMV is trying to offer necessary in-person transactions while striking a balance between protecting the health and safety of the public,” said Acting Registrar Jamey Tesler. “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in-person transactions will be conducted in keeping with guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Response Command Center.”
Only the following seven RMV centers will be open effective March 18th until further notice: Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, Plymouth, and Worcester. Hearings will be conducted at Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, and Worcester. Hearings at the Pittsfield RMV occur weekly on Wednesdays and are scheduled to resume on March 25th . No hearings will be conducted in Plymouth.
Road tests for permit holders are postponed at all locations through at least Friday, March 20th. Road testing will resume only after cleaning, personal protective equipment and social distancing protocols have been put in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission for permit holders, road test examiners and others who accompany permit holders for their tests. Because the Governor’s Executive Order provides that Learner’s Permits dated between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will continue to have an active status until sixty days after the printed expiration date.
Earlier this week, the RMV began helping residents with ‘social-distancing’ by reducing the need for some customers to physically come into a Service Center for certain transactions. As of March 16th, the RMV implemented a 60-day extension: residents with Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have a 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential.
This deadline extension does not apply to customers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) or those whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.
Customers eligible for this extension should wait to visit an RMV Service Center or AAA office (if a member of AAA), to renew until after the State of Emergency is over.
The RMV has taken other steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. In keeping with recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the RMV has adopted enhanced cleaning practices for facilities, purchased additional contactless hand sanitizer dispensing stations, issued anti-viral disinfectant wipes and individual size hand sanitizers to certain employees, and expanded areas to be disinfected.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, the RMV has continued with safety-critical “back office” functions, even as all Registry customer service locations closed on March 16th and 17th. The critical work of ensuring license discipline continues, including the processing of both in-state and out-of-state convictions and mail.
More than 40 Registry transactions may be conducted online at www.mass.gov/rmv. The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to update the public on COVID-19 response and precautionary measures: www.mass.gov/coronavirus.com