RMV offices going dark Thursday night
In-person visit to RMV needed to obtain new license
WAIT TIMES at the Registry of Motor Vehicles are likely to go up starting next week as the state installs a new software system and begins complying with new requirements for obtaining a federally approved driver’s license.
The new requirements require Massachusetts residents seeking a federally approved license to appear in person with a US passport, a certified birth certificate, or other acceptable forms of identification. Previously, residents could renew their licenses online without appearing in person. The new approach means millions of drivers are likely over the next couple years to make special visits to Registry or AAA offices, which also process transactions.
State officials said they have increased staffing and come up with ways to speed up license renewal times, but they acknowledged the influx of customers has the potential to increase wait times. Currently, 92 percent of customers have waits of less than 30 minutes, 7 percent have wait times of between 30 and 60 minutes, and 1 percent face longer waits.
The new, so-called Real ID licenses are needed starting October 1, 2020, for anyone who wants to use their driver’s license for identification when flying or visiting a federal building.
Starting Thursday night at 7 p.m., the Registry of Motor Vehicles is installing new software that is expected to both improve operations at the Registry and allow compliance with the new federal requirements. The transition to the new software will not be completed until 9 a.m. Monday morning. Between Thursday night and Monday morning, the RMV, both online and at its offices, will not be handling any customer transactions.State officials said there is no urgent need to obtain the new Real ID license prior to October 2020. They said residents can also decide not to get the license at all, and use a passport when flying or entering federal buildings.
For information on licensing options and requirements, go to mass.gov/ID.