CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The 22News I-Team was honored with an Edward R. Murrow award for our work into the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles, but that doesn’t mean our work is done. Now, we’re asking the new administration what changes they’re making to curb wait times.
We have unfortunately all been there, in line at the RMV just watching the clock tick. “I walked in and there’s hundreds of people in there,” said Springfield’s Tom Manion.
A year ago this May, the 22News I-Team challenged the wait times estimated on the RMV website, we actually timed it on our own and found the reality was sometimes twice as long as what was estimated.
It’s why a year later, the I-Team is back, looking for change. We went back to the Springfield RMV at 10:45 on a Monday morning. Our plan was to find people going in and compare their actual wait time to what the RMV website says.
Ludlow’s Tyler Cote agreed to be our first subject. He was there to get a new license and his estimated wait time was 57 minutes. His wait time started at 11:02 and he ultimately returned at 11:56. His total wait time was 54 minutes, a couple minutes earlier than expected. “It went smoothly, they kept calling number, number, number, it went pretty quick,” Cote said.
Next, we went to the Chicopee RMV; just before 11:00 on a Tuesday morning, the line is already out the door. Chicopee’s Herb Rosenberg hoped to get through quick although the estimated wait time on the website is 45 minutes. Lucky for him, he got out 10 minutes earlier than expected.
The times estimated seem to be on point, although some people think the real issue is that the process still takes too long. “I thought it’d be 20 minutes or a half an hour but this is an hour, that’s too long,” said Chicopee’s Jose Sepulveda.
So, the I-Team took those concerns to Erin Deveney, the new Registrar of Motor Vehicles. “In Springfield we recently introduced a fast track kiosk and that lets customers that are there for a duplicate license or renew their license or identification card with a debit or credit card to go into the branch to service themselves,” Deveney said.
Deveney said they’ve also cut employees lunch breaks by 15 minutes to accommodate the lunch rush and are working on implementing a system that would allow you to make an appointment. She says changes are happening although she admits it’s not perfect yet.
“We understand that unfortunately coming to a branch is not the highlight of most customer’s day. We’re working to improve that and make it as painless as possible,” she added.
Deveney said one way you can help yourself is conduct your business on the internet whenever possible.