A couple weeks ago, Jon Thompson was in line waiting to get his license renewed at an RMV branch when he wondered if he could use a wait-time data feed posted by MassDOT to show how long you might have to wait.
The RMV agreed to let a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster wear a colander on her head to get her driver's license - after she had her lawyer at the American Humanist Association explain the First Amendment to them.
Pastafarians, of course, believe "the existence of a Flying Spaghetti Monster to be just as probable as the existence of the Christian God" and part of that credo is paying homage through collanders worn on the head. Read more.
The New England Center for Investigative Reporting reports on the driving-test pay-for-play system at the Registry: Auto schools pay for guaranteed time slots for tests, and their students get in ahead of people who somehow managed to get the same time for tests.
The RMV announced today that its replacement for the Chinatown branch opens Sept. 15 in that parking garage/office building atop the Haymarket T stop that will also house the Boston Public Market.
The RMV will occupy the building's second and third floors. In addition to standard RMV functions, visitors will also get to enjoy a new E-ZPass customer center.
The RMV will open the office on Sept. 10 for a public sneak peak and for this year's auction of low-number license plates - which will include "351" - a number the registry notes is significant in Massachusetts.
MassDOT announced today it's increasing the cost of car registration from $50 to $60 and the cost of annual inspections from $29 to $35.
The transportation agency says the money will help it close a gap in the RMV's budget. $1 of the inspection increase will go to the service stations that perform the tests:
MassDOT will host public hearings on the fee increases this spring. The new fees will go into effect July 1, 2014.
The fee increases are expected to bring in $55 million to $60 million a year.
Adrianna Ferreira of Brighton had a pretty sweet deal, prosecutors say: She'd take money from immigrants seeking help with Immigration or driver's licenses and when they complained when she did nothing for the money, would either threaten them with deportation or actually turn them into ICE.
Ferreira, 48, a worker at the Watertown RMV, was arraigned today on 27-count indictment after a three-year investigation by the Suffolk County District Attorney's office, State Police and Homeland Security.
A federal appeals court said today a state contract with a Globe subsidiary to include ads in car-registration renewal notices a few years back did not violate a federal law aimed at protecting the privacy of drivers' personal information.
The ads included with the registration notice for his 1998 Toyota so offended Matthew Downing that he found a lawyer to file a class-action lawsuit against Globe Direct. Downing charged that by including the ads, which he never asked for, the company had violated his privacy rights under the federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act.
The Globe reports the RMV is moving to suspend the licenses of immigrants who flew to Arizona to get driver's licenses because that state lets applicants take an interpreter with them into the written test, while we don't.
Crime Boston has details of an 18-year-old indicted in federal court on charges he sold crack cocaine and heroin - which he allegedly stored in bags clenched in his buttocks - in the men's room at the Chinatown Registry of Motor Vehicles.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled today some evidence against a man charged with driving down I-93 while drunk and with a cracked windshield can't be used against him because he was initially pulled over for having black tape over "Spirit of America" on his license plate.
The trooper did not have any basis to stop the defendant; therefore the stop was improper and the evidence obtained as a result of that stop must be suppressed.
Got my car inspected earlier today. As it is model year 1999, I was only expecting the safety check. Therefore, in reading the inspection report, I was suprised to learn they had also done an emissions check as well (BTW, the car passed both safety and emissions fine)
Just checked out the MassRMV "Vehicle Check" inspections page and come to find out that, sure enough, the old "safety every year, emissions every other year" inspection system has been eliminated. So both safety and emissions checks are now required at every inspection cycle.
Dan Kennedy reports:
... I paid up online. I got an e-mail confirming that I paid. Yet now I have to call the Registry just to make really, really sure. ...
Word comes from Patrick aide-de-camp Doug Rubin that Gov. Patrick has told the RMV to rescind that $5 fee for talking to a live person, and find other ways to get people to interact with the registry online rather than in person.
Dvsjr was at a Registry office today when he sprang into action. He tweets:
Battery backup at the registry starts screeching. I'm in line, go up to the counter, "its ok maam Im an IT guy" reset the fuse. Clapping.
Somebody's Daughter and Somebody's Teacher reports her car almost failed inspection today - not because her lights or brakes or horn don't work, but because her license-plate cover obscured part of the vitally important "Spirit of America" slogan at the bottom. Sure enough, the Registry informs us of the vital importance of not covering up this vitally important part of the license plate:
And it's only electronic - no more paper notifications.
Massachusetts permits interest groups to use Commonwealth auto registration as a fund-raising and advocacy mechanism. As you know from an earlier post, "Massachusetts Choose Life says it is only 214 sign-ups away from getting the Registry of Massachusetts to begin offering "Choose Life" vanity plates..."
Massachusetts Choose Life says it is only 214 sign-ups away from getting the Registry of Massachusetts to begin offering "Choose Life" vanity plates - part of whose proceeds would then fund the group's mission.
The state requires non-profit groups to either sign up 3,000 motorists for a charity plate or 1,500 motorists if the group puts up a $100,000 bond. The plates would cost $40 - with $12 going to the state to pay for stamping out the plates at MCI Cedar Junction and the rest going to Choose Life (there is an additional fee for swapping out an existing Massachusetts plate).
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