RMV Provides Update on Implementation of Work and Family Mobility Act

Special to the Independent

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV)  is providing an update on the first six months of the Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA). Since the law went into effect on July 1, 2023, the RMV has issued 91,961 new learner’s permits and 54,952 new, first-time driver’s licenses to Massachusetts residents. 

“Since the Work and Family Mobility Act was implemented in July, thousands of Massachusetts residents have been able to get licenses helping provide access to friends, families, and their communities,” said MassDOT Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “We are especially proud of the language and interpreter assistance provided to applicants, underscoring our commitment to helping all eligible applicants. We’d also like to thank our non-profit and community partners for assisting the Registry with public education about the new law, which helped to enhanced customer service options.” 

“The RMV and its employees have worked hard to meet the challenge of increased demand for appointments and credentials under the Work and Family Mobility Act,” said Registrar Colleen Ogilvie. “We are grateful for the support from advocates and community leaders throughout this process, and we are continuing to improve each step of our process.”    

The amount of new learner’s permits represents an increase of 244 percent, and new driver’s licenses represents an increase of 120 percent, when compared to the same time period in 2022. In addition, 33,648 out of state conversions were processed. 

To accommodate increased customer volumes, the RMV hired more than 250 front line staff and road test examiners. In addition, the RMV expanded service by extending hours Monday through Friday and offering appointments on Saturdays at many service center locations. The RMV opened additional road test locations in Holyoke, Revere, Cambridge, Franklin, Worcester, and Brockton, contracted temporary third-party providers to handle increased volume for those newly eligible to obtain a license, and contracted with a driving school company to offer tests at their business locations in West Boylston, Avon, and Framingham.  

Over the past several months, the RMV has identified and created informational resources specifically to help guide new customers as they begin the process to secure a Standard License. To further support this effort, the RMV has also worked directly with immigration advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and impacted communities to facilitate and coordinate public outreach and to solicit feedback on implementation efforts so that best practices can be adopted.      

“As leaders of the Massachusetts organizations that co-chaired the Driving Families Forward coalition, we are proud that we were able to successfully fulfill our mission to pass the Work and Family Mobility Act and see it through to full implementation this summer, thanks in no small part to the active collaboration we received from the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the entire Healey-Driscoll Administration,” said Lenita Reason, Executive Director of The Brazilian Worker Center; Roxana Rivera, Assistant to the President of 32BJ SEIU. “Of course, the biggest obstacle that many Massachusetts residents once faced in getting a driver’s license was the longstanding linkage of driving privileges to immigration status. We were deeply pleased that our governmental partners went beyond our expectations in their openness, availability and willingness to quickly address issues around the successful implementation of the new law that has removed that obstacle, so that our roads can be safer for everyone.”  

“We are thrilled to see the real-life results of years of advocacy and perseverance. We thank the Healey-Driscoll Administration and the Registry of Motor Vehicles for their partnership in the rollout of the law – listening to community feedback, expanding access, and establishing best practices so all people can drive safely,” said Laura Rótolo, field director, ACLU of Massachusetts. “There is nothing like the smile on the face of a person who has just passed their road test to remind us why this work is so important. We look forward to continuing to support the implementation of this law with robust regulations and processes.”  

The RMV also offers a pre-registering system that establishes a proactive process for booking appointments. Rather than checking the RMV website for an appointment, customers will be able to request an appointment online, and will receive an email with a unique link when an appointment is available for them to schedule.     

The RMV remains committed to providing quality services to all communities and has been working diligently to develop informational resources, which include:     

• An informational website with helpful information on the WFMA, details identification requirements and outlines steps which must be undertaken by eligible individuals to get a Standard Class D or Class M driver’s license, including successfully passing a vision screening, and scheduling separate appointments for a learner’s permit and road test. This site was launched in 2023 because the Registry is committed to supporting the needs of newly eligible applicants. 

• A special informational phoneline, 857-368-WFMA (857-368-9362), to hear messaging in multiple languages.     

• Frequently Asked Questions and a public flyer  for customers as they prepare their applications.      

For more information go to Mass.gov/WFMA or call (857) 368-WFMA (857-368-9326).  

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