Reducing Wait Times at the RMV

On March 26, 2018, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) implemented the first phase of the process to replace its old mainframe technology ALARS to ATLAS . With the implementation of Release 1 of its new ATLAS software for licensing and driver functions, the RMV began implementing new federal and state document requirements for getting and renewing licenses and identification cards. The new software system is in full compliance with the federal REAL ID and standard license ID lawful presence requirements.

The new system requires all documents must be original versions (cannot be photocopied) and cannot be laminated. To apply for the Standard license or ID card, one document to show proof of lawful presence and proof of date of birth must be presented and a document for proof of Massachusetts residency must also be presented.

To apply for the Real ID license or ID, the following must be presented: one document for proof lawful presence and date of birth; one document for proof of Social Security Number; and two documents for proof of Massachusetts residency. An official ID Checklist has been provided and must be filled out to complete your application for either ID or license. The checklist is designed to guide RMV customers through the requirements and ensure that all documents required are present.

During the first few weeks of the implementation of the new software ATLAS, many customers have experienced unacceptably long waits at the RMV during the first period of the transition. However, the RMV has been steadily working to reduce the wait times for service by providing customers with applications, checklists & clip boards immediately and by employing staff at entrances to ensure customers have all the documents that they are now required to present. Additionally, the RMV has urged customers that are also AAA members to go to AAA for registry transactions that are also provided at a AAA location. By diverting customers to other locations, AAA members can greatly reduce the lines at the RMV. The website has also provided a link that lists the services that AAA also offers in order to reduce the wait lines at the RMV.

The success of the efforts of the RMV have shown a noticeable effect on the wait times in the last few months. The documented progress can be seen in the charts provided that outline the percent of customers that were served in under 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and over 60 minutes. For instance, in April 2018, 44% of customers were served under 30 minutes and 34% were served in over 60 minutes, while in July 2018, 63% of customers were served in under 30 minutes and only 14% of customers were served in over 60 minutes. Furthermore, in the week of July 9-13, 2018, about 74% of customers at Massachusetts RMVs had to wait up to 30 minutes and only 7% of customers had to wait 90 minutes for service.

The RMV continues to work on reducing the customer wait times and hopes to reach its target of serving at least 80% of the customers in under 30 minutes. For more information on the Real ID and required documents for the application, visit the MassDOT website or view an email distributed to the General Court by Registrar Deveney.

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