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PlatesApril school vacation days next week are among the RMV’s busiest of the year.  In preparation, MassDOT today again encouraged customers to do their business online if possible and unveiled new tools to help customers who must visit a branch better understand wait-times to plan their branch business.

“At MassDOT we are striving to manage customer expectations to improve the overall customer experience. We have received positive feedback from our MBTA’s countdown clock project and the installation of real time travel information along Interstate 93,” said MassDOT Secretary & CEO Richard A. Davey. “Registry customers also deserve that level of transparency when it comes to branch wait-times.”

At all 30 branches, Registry Motor Vehicle Network screens are displaying average wait times, staffing levels and customer volume from the most recent month and how those figures compare with that month in the prior year.

Customer volume has increased across the board while staffing levels have decreased from 2012 to 2013. The result has been a slight uptick in average monthly wait times at most branches, while other branches have shaved minutes off their wait times through performance management and continued dedication from front line customer service representatives.

“This comparative information gives customers an honest look at our operations and holds us accountable,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Rachel Kaprielian. “Customer wait times are the Registry’s most important metric and in these lean fiscal times we are managing our resources effectively.” 

This month to month data supplements the existing wait ticket system, which cannot account for a complicated transaction taking place immediately ahead of you. Staffing levels have fallen from 331 last year to 307 currently.

Last year during April Vacation, the RMV served 57,258 customers who waited an average of 35 minutes.

More customers are turning to online transactions, where there is no wait. In March, customers performed a record of more than 24,000 license renewal transactions online on the Registry’s new website,, which debuted in February. A typical month sees less than 22,000.

This week the Registry also used MassDOT Highway Division electronic message boards to help decrease branch traffic next week, with a message urging customers to visit before visiting a branch.

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