Friday, March 20, 2020
Massachusetts RMV Extending Motor Vehicle Inspections and Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Permits (CDLs/CLPs) Deadlines
8 Service Centers remain open to general public with new ticketing protocols; Milford and Wilmington locations now open to process exclusively CDL transactions; Non-commercial road tests suspended through April 6th
BOSTON - The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing today that it will be implementing a 60-day extension to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) expired or expiring in March and April, and that the Service Centers in Milford and Wilmington are reopened to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions. These initiatives recognize the importance of commercial vehicle drivers to the supply chain during the State of Emergency declaration, and will continue to prioritize reducing customer volumes in physical locations.
All commercial licenses or permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have the 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential. The RMV implemented a similar extension for residents with Class D, Class M and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits on March 16th with the exception of customers 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 these extensions should wait to visit an RMV Service Center to renew until after the State of Emergency has concluded.
In addition, in an effort to help customers maintain proper social distancing, as today, March 20, the annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection expiration dates are being extended as follows:
All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on March 31, 2020 (designated by a number 3 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by May 31, 2020.
All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on April 30, 2020 (designated by a number 4 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by June 30, 2020.
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, 2020, must be re-inspected by May 31, and non-commercial vehicles issued a failed inspection sticker due to expire in the month of April, 2020, must be re-inspected by June 30. Additionally, the one free re-test for these vehicles is also extended to May 31 or June 30 provided the re-test is performed at the same inspection station that performed the initial inspection.
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.
All motorcycle inspection stickers originally set to expire on May 31 must be inspected by June 30.
The RMV is also extending the time during which newly registered vehicles must be inspected, which is typically within 7 days of the date of registration.
Any newly-registered non-commercial vehicle purchased between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020 must be inspected by May 31.
Any newly-registered non-commercial vehicle purchased between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 must be inspected by June 30.
In addition, during the declared emergency period, the RMV is waiving the requirement of 540 Code Mass. Regs. § 4.08(2), which requires that inspection stations must remain open and available for inspections for a minimum of six hours per day, five days per week. Inspection stations are excused from compliance with this provision during the length of the COVID-19 state of emergency.
Finally, inspector and station licensing expirations are not being extended at this time because current resources are able to meet the application demand. However, inspectors and station owners are strongly encouraged to submit applications on-line at www.Mass.gov/RMV.
Eight (8) RMV Service Center locations remain open to serve the general public, but the RMV requests that customers who do not have immediate needs for required in-person services delay their visits. These RMV facilities prioritize regional availability, accessibility and facility size and capacity and will prioritize only transactions that cannot be completed online, over the phone or by mail.
To assist with “social-distancing” and reducing facility volume, customers are asked to not bring multiple individuals with them and a ticketing protocol will continue to be in place to mitigate customer queuing. Customers visiting the open centers will be issued tickets on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to those customers with transactions that cannot be completed online. Tickets will designate for customers whether they will be served in the morning (9 a.m. until 12 p.m.) timeframe or the (12 p.m. until 5 p.m.) timeframe in groupings. Limited tickets will be issued based on the Service Center capacity and number of customers that can be served realistically through the course of the day. Any remaining customers will be asked to leave and return another day. Meanwhile, AAA locations will continue to offer select RMV services to AAA members and road tests remain suspended through April 6th. CDL road tests continue to be administered.
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.
“We are continuing to identify ways in which we can provide support and assistance to Registry customers and members of the business community to limit their need for in-person visits to RMV Service Centers,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack. “The new extensions and protocols that we are implementing for Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Learner’s Permits and motor vehicle inspections will help protect the safety and well-being of the members of the general public during these challenging times.”
“The RMV continues to strike a balance between continuing with business transactions while 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.”
The following eight RMV Service Centers remain open for service to the general public until further notice: Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Springfield and Worcester. Hearings will be conducted at Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield 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. Again, the RMV Service Center’s in Milford and Wilmington will be open to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions – any non-CDL/CLP customers will be asked to report to a different location.
Class D and M road tests for permit holders remain postponed at all locations through Monday, April 6th while CDL road tests continue to be administered. Class D and M road tests 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.
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 some employees of the Registry work from home or have been re-deployed.