Reforms, branch consolidations, innovative partnerships create new ways to deliver services under an increasingly unified transportation organization

(Boston, MA) - Responding to new budget constraints, Registrar Rachel Kaprielian today outlined a plan to restructure and modernize Registry of Motor Vehicles customer service resources to help Massachusetts' 4.6 million drivers shift to a new way of getting license, registration and motor vehicle services.

"Transportation reform and the economic crisis give the RMV a unique opportunity to firmly position itself as a trailblazer in providing quality motor vehicle services more efficiently than ever before," said Registrar Kaprielian. "Our goal is to keep faith with our customers by cost-effectively leveraging new technological innovations, overhauling our business practices and partnering with sister transportation agencies and private industry."

Beginning July 1, the RMV will respond to a tighter FY10 budget by closing 11 branches in every region of the state and immediately redeploying staff and equipment to open five new 'mitigation' offices located in underutilized MassHighway and Massachusetts Turnpike Authority toll plazas, visitor centers and offices. Many of the remaining 23 RMV branches will also be modified to expand services in anticipation of heavier customer traffic.

The shift from leasing high-cost private office space to rent-free government buildings will save the RMV an estimated $1.7 million dollars a year and will help to minimize the impact on staffing. Going forward, as leases expire at traditional branches, the RMV will explore using other government buildings and transportation structures that offer minimal overhead costs. Under Governor Deval Patrick's leadership, the state's transportation agencies and authorities have generated tens of millions in savings and efficiencies through transportation reform efforts, including almost $2 million at the RMV alone.

The RMV's new facilities strategy exemplifies the type of reforms which will help create a more accountable and unified state transportation organization as directed under the landmark transportation reform legislation signed into law by Governor Patrick last week. "This is an important step in sharing resources and best practices to reduce waste and duplication. We are cutting one of the agency's largest expenses while preserving core services," added Kaprielian.

Twenty one percent of the RMV's customers will be impacted by the branch and staff changes. Most will look to the new full and express mitigation offices in Charlton, Natick, Bourne and Peabody or "beefed up" branches in each region for future service.

To keep wait times reasonable, the RMV is introducing a series of measures to drive customers out of branch lines and into online services through the agency's upgraded website:

  • Self-service online kiosks offering routine transactions such as registration plate returns will be set up in some of the busier branches in September
  • A partnership with community libraries will offer ways to help their patrons navigate the 18 transactions now available online from renewing a license to ordering a free FASTLANE transponder.

"Last year, we took 1.5 million people out of our "brick and mortar" branches and served them on the Internet, an increase of 23% in cyber traffic," said Registrar Kaprielian. "Still, a large portion of our customers can't or won't make the jump to cyberspace for a variety of reasons. But I envision the RMV of the not too distant future will be able to deliver all routine licensing, registration and titling online."

To help RMV customers make the transition to the Internet, the agency is designing awareness campaigns to address some of the reasons why people visit branches when they aren't required and will introduce IT programming that allows customers to use a debit card for transactions-an easier payment method for many customers.

New business protocols and programs that are the result of a year-long overhaul of the RMV will also shave time off branch operations for customers who must visit a branch for a new license, out-of-state conversion or other non-routine service. Among the innovations that have or will soon be introduced:

  • New document imaging which eliminates manual copying and paper storage
  • Smart Safe technology which eliminates manual cash counting procedures
  • Pre-staging online license process to help reduce repeat branch visits, and
  • Q-matic technology that creates more queues for a wider range of services

Registrar Kaprielian says the RMV's new business model positions the agency for the future. "An economic crisis may have forced us to streamline, reduce spending and look to technology and innovation to continue providing customer service, but the time is right to build pathways to the new RMV where efficient government service can be just a click away."

To improve customer service, the RMV has expanded online services over the past two years, including license, registration and title inquiries. To take advantage of RMV's online services visit:http://www.massrmv.com


The New RMV


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