As an update to our April Blog on Registry of Motor Vehicle (“RMV”) extensions and how they impact drivers, we outline below the new order and its changes to how drivers comply with regulations.
In its continued emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is again extending deadlines for expiring licenses, inspection stickers, plate registrations and more for 60-120 days.
In its emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts has taken measures to close all but 12 RMV Service Centers until further notice in order to reduce in-person customer visits. Many of the RMV’s services and transactions can be conducted through the RMV’s Online Service Center. For further information about the current state of the RMV, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/rmv-covid-19-information.
Which RMV Locations are Open?
The following RMV locations are open for limited business until further notice:
- Fall River
- Milford - Commercial Driver's License/Permit ONLY
- Watertown - Learner’s Permits ONLY
- Wilmington - Commercial Driver's License/Permit ONLY
The Milford and Wilmington RMV Service Centers will remain open to exclusively perform walk-in commercial transactions for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) and permits (CLPs), and CDL road tests continue to be administered. Performing a commercial transaction at any other location will require an appointment reservation.
Suspension hearings will be conducted at Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, and Worcester. Although not marked on the RMV website, Springfield has also been conducting suspension hearings. Pittsfield will hold hearings only on Wednesdays. No hearings will be conducted in Plymouth.
On May 18, AAA opened select branch offices to perform RMV services. These services are by appointment only.
What Services are Available at these Locations?
The RMV has limited the services and transactions that can be processed at the 10 Service Centers that are open to the general public. The only transactions that will be processed at service centers are those that require an in-person transaction, including RMV suspension hearings, Commercial Driving Licenses or Permits (CDLs / CLPs), some new registrations, out of state conversions and new Mass IDs.
What Do I Need to Do to Prepare for an RMV Visit?
The RMV is currently enforcing a strict no walk-in policy. Customers who need to complete these transactions will be required to make an online appointment reservation, and customers arriving without an appointment will be asked to leave and make an appointment online to return at a future date.
Appointment reservations can be made online at www.Mass.Gov/RMV in the myRMV Online Service Center under “Make or Cancel a Reservation.” Customers who make an appointment will be sent a confirmation email that they should be prepared to show on arrival at their designated time at a specific Service Center.
Customers who make an appointment are advised to arrive on time and prepared for their visit at their selected location, and will be sent a confirmation email that they should be prepared to show on arrival.
Customers who make a reservation are the only ones allowed in the Service Center. All family and/or friends must wait outside. All customers are asked to not bring multiple individuals with them to assist with “social-distancing.”
For your safety and ours, the RMV is respectfully asking all customers to wear face coverings when you visit the Service Center for your scheduled reservation.
What if My License is Set to Expire?
All Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020, will have an extension applied to the current expiration date.
- All non-commercial driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that expire in March, April and May 2020 will now expire in September 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
- All non-commercial driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that expire in June 2020 will now expire in October 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
- All non-commercial driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that expire in July 2020 will now expire in November 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
- All non-commercial driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that expire inAugust 2020 will now expire in December 2020 and do not need to be renewed at this time.
- All learner’s permits expiring between March and August 2020 have been extended until December 2020.
- The RMV is not providing updated credentials to reflect the extended date.
REAL ID Updates
On March 23rd, the federal government announced a revised REAL ID compliance deadline of October 1, 2021.
What about Learner’s Permit Tests?
Effective June 10th, the passenger and motorcycle (Class D & M) learners’ permit knowledge exam will be available to take online and dedicated Permit-Only Appointment Hours will be available at select Service Center locations. Appointments for new learners’ permits will be initially restricted to individuals who turned 16 between January and May 2020.
Individuals seeking a passenger or motorcycle (Class D & M) learner’s permit will be required to start their application online and make an appointment to visit a Service Center to provide required identification documentation. Once an application and documents have been processed and verified at a Service Center, customers will be given login instructions and credentials to complete their test online at home.
Road tests re-start Wednesday, June 10 for previously-cancelled customers. Beginning this Wednesday, June 10 for students who had a road test scheduled in March, April, or May that was cancelled due to the pandemic. These students will be notified by email and/or mail and have their road test automatically rescheduled prior to any public testing becoming available for new students.
Public road tests will be rescheduled in priority order, meaning that cancelled road tests will be rescheduled in the same order as they were previously scheduled. With limited exceptions for the foreseeable future, state vehicles will be used to conduct road tests to ensure the health and safety of RMV employees, customers, and their sponsors. Vehicles will be cleaned and disinfected between tests, and outfitted with protective barriers. Note that only the examiner and student taking the road test will be permitted in the vehicle for the duration of the road test. Sponsors must wait outside or in their own vehicle.
For more information related to Driving Schools, click here.
What if My Vehicle Registration is Expiring?
Registration renewals can continue to be performed online at Mass.Gov/RMV during this time. Registration expirations are being extended as follows:
- All passenger plate registrations that expire in March, April, May and June 2020 will now expire in July 2020.
- The RMV is not providing updated credentials to reflect the extended date.
What if My Inspection Sticker is Expiring?
The annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection expiration dates are being extended as follows:
- Inspection stickers that expire in March, April and May 2020 will now expire in July 2020.
- Commercial and non-commercial vehicles that are issued a failed inspection sticker (indicated by a sticker with a red or black letter ‘R’) that is due to expire in the month of March, April and May 2020 must be re-inspected by July 31. Additionally, the one free re-test for these vehicles is also extended to July 31 provided the re-test is performed at the same inspection station that performed the initial inspection.
- All motorcycle inspection stickers originally set to expire on May 31 must be inspected by June 30.
- Any newly-registered commercial and non-commercial vehicle purchased between March, April and May 2020 must be inspected by July 31.
Please note that regardless of the date of inspection, vehicles issued a failed inspection sticker due to a safety defect (indicated by a sticker with a red letter ‘R’) shall not be operated until appropriate repairs have been completed.
What if I Need a New License Plate or Have a Temporary License Plate?
If you ordered a vanity plate or replacement plate on or after March 6, there will be a delay in manufacturing and mailing your plate order.
If you were issued a temporary plate, an extension has been applied automatically. If the vehicle is registered to an individual, follow the steps below to access and print your extended temporary plate and registration:
Visit the RMV's Online Service Center page
Select Access My Profile option
Log in to your profile
On the Vehicle panel of your profile, there will be 2 links - one for the Certificate of Registration with the new expiration date, and one for the temporary plate with the new expiration date
Access and print each file
Keep the Certificate of Registration in the vehicle
Place the temporary plate in the sleeve you were provided, and affix it to the vehicle following the instructions printed on the bottom of the page
Once your plate(s) is ready, it will be mailed to your address on record with the RMV.
What Should I know if I Hold a Commercial Drivers License?
All Massachusetts commercial driver licenses (CDLs) and commercial learner's permits (CLPs) with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2020, have been extended. Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders are now able to renew their licenses online if they are self-certified in the Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) category for medical certification.
- All Commercial Driver's Licenses and Permits (CDL / CLP) that expire in March, April, and May 2020 will now expire in September 2020.
- All Commercial Driver's Licenses and Permits (CDL / CLP) that expire in June 2020, will now expire in October 2020.
- All Commercial Driver's Licenses and Permits (CDL / CLP) that expire in July 2020, will now expire in November 2020.
- All Commercial Driver's Licenses and Permits (CDL / CLP) that expire in August 2020, will now expire in
Note: This does not apply to any commercial driver or permit holder whose privileges were suspended or revoked for traffic offenses.
CDL Medical Certificates (Med Certs) that have expired or will expire after March 1st through May 31st have been extended until June 30th to prevent license downgrades and elective medical visits, as well as alleviate demand on medical providers, during the State of Emergency.
If you would like to take a commercial learner's permit knowledge exam, the Milford and Wilmington Service Centers are open to exclusively serve commercial drivers. To prepare for your CLP knowledge exam, click here.
Road tests for CDLs are still being conducted during the State of Emergency. Massachusetts State Police manage CDL road tests, and require anyone taking a CDL road test to bring and wear a mask or face covering for the entirety of the road test. Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLPs) holders are not required to wait 14 days to schedule the initial road test during the State of Emergency. To schedule your commercial (Class A, B, or C) road test, call 857-368-7381. To prepare for your commercial road test, click here.Click here for additional detailed information for CDL holders provided by the RMV.
Professional credentials for the following that have expired or are expiring, between March 10 and June 30 will be extended for 90 days after the State of Emergency is lifted. These credentials are considered “active” as the RMV implements the system changes to reflect that status in the near future, including the following credentials:
- School Bus Certificate
- School Pupil (7D) License
- Station Inspector License
- Driving School Instructor License
- Station Inspection License
- Driving School License
RMV Suspension HearingsRMV suspension hearings are all currently being held over the telephone. However, in order to request an RMV suspension hearing, you must report in person to one of the designated RMV Service Centers. Arrive as early as possible, and make sure to bring all necessary documents with you to the Service Center. You can check what documentation you'll need for your hearing, as it varies depending on the type of suspension. Note that chemical test refusal hearings are only held at the Boston/Haymarket RMV.Suspension hearings are held on a first come, first served basis. The available hearings may fill quickly. However, there may be more hearings in the afternoon, and it is your option to decide whether to return to apply for an available hearing.Once at the RMV, you will be given an application to complete to request the hearing. When you have completed the application, an RMV representative will collect your application and documents. You will then exit the building and await a telephone call from the Hearings Officer. You have the right to be represented by counsel or by any other responsible adult, but the applicant must accompany the representative at the time of the hearing. Additionally, any applicants requiring interpretation services are responsible for supplying this service. If your case is successful, you may need to apply or reapply for a driver’s license or learner’s permit at a Service Center. In both of these circumstances, you will need to prove lawful presence as part of the license reinstatement process. You can refer to the document checklist at mass.gov/id which outlines the acceptable forms of lawful presence documentation.If the Hearing Officer determines that a fee is due, you have 3 options to make payment:
- Pay the fee online at Mass.Gov/RMV.
- Call the Contact Center at 857-368-8000 to provide payment over the phone.
- Visit an RMV Service Center for counter service.
What if I am Required to Complete a National Safety Council (NSC) Class?
National Safety Council (NSC) in-person classes have all transitioned to online courses through Monday, September 7, 2020. As of April 6, 2020, an online class is available for you to take, and your online course participation will count as your in-person class requirement.
Individuals scheduled for a class should expect to receive communication directly from NSC, via emails and automated phone calls, on their specific next steps for online course completion. Additionally, for anyone with a deadline to complete an NSC course between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 the RMV has provided an additional 90 days to complete the NSC requirement.
For further information about the current state of the RMV, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/rmv-covid-19-information.