The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has announced that all RMV services, with the exception of law enforcement, will be unavailable from 7 p.m., March 22 until 8 a.m. March 26 due to the RMV changing over a new computer system that will allow the RMV to comply with federal and state mandates. In addition inspection station locations will be unable to conduct motor vehicle inspections on March 23, 24 or 25, RMV on-line services will be unavailable, and RMV service locations will be closed.
The Registry’s new computer system will enable the Commonwealth to issue federally mandated REAL ID credentials to members of the public who will need a REAL ID credential. REAL ID is a Federal Security Standard for IDs that was created in 2005 as a result of the increased federal security measures after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The new computer system will also have enhanced customer-centric features and more efficient process elements for access by law enforcement, the insurance industry, government entities and professionals who need to engage the Registry. The current RMV system is more than 30 years old.
Between March 22 and March 26, the following services will be unavailable:
- Beginning at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 22, motor vehicle inspections will be unavailable at station locations in Massachusetts until the start of business on March 26, at 8 a.m.
- Beginning at 7 p.m., March 22, and until 8 a.m., March 26, Registry on-line services will be unavailable.
- Registry service locations will be closed on Friday, March 23, and will reopen on Monday, March 26.
- AAA branch locations which offer Registry services to AAA members will be unable to do so beginning at 7 p.m., March 22, and until 8 a.m., March 26.
- Law enforcement officers will continue to have access to RMV data at all times from March 22 to March 26 through the use of a back-up data file.
For more information regarding RMV service suspension, please visit: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/alert-no-rmv-services.
The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is taking steps to allow more customers the opportunity to renew a driver’s license or ID card online. The RMV has extended the length of time a customer can use a license photo from 9 years to 14 years which means more customers than ever are eligible for online renewals.
In addition, customers will be eligible to renew their licenses or ID cards online for two consecutive renewal periods. This will result in approximately 30,000 additional renewal transactions eligible to be processed online each month. With thousands of additional customers now eligible to conduct renewals online, the amount of customers who must visit a service center will decrease, which will make in-person transactions more efficient for customers who do need to visit RMV service locations.
“The Registry is pleased to offer these helpful enhancements to service options that are currently available to our customers,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney. “We encourage customers to conveniently renew their driver’s license or MA ID card online if they are eligible to do so, saving a trip to a service center and perhaps avoiding holiday traffic too.”
Licenses and ID cards will need to be renewed in person at RMV service centers or AAA locations (for AAA members) every third renewal period (once every 15 years). Customers should also know that they don’t need to wait for the RMV’s birthday card reminder to renew. They can go online and renew up to 12 months in advance.
To be eligible for online renewal, a customer’s license/ID card photo must be less than 14 years old and must have been taken after the customer’s 21st birthday.
The RMV invites license and/or ID card holders to visit www.mass.gov/how-to/renew-your-drivers-license to check their license status and renew online.
Effective March 26, 2018, the RMV is changing the way customers get and renew their driver’s licenses and ID cards. On that date, the RMV will begin to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards which meet the federal requirement for credentials which are REAL ID compliant.
Massachusetts residents do not need a REAL ID until after October 2020, and will only need a REAL ID for air travel or to enter a U.S. government building. On October 1, 2020, the following credentials will be accepted where REAL ID is required: a valid U.S or foreign passport, U.S. passport card, military ID, or a driver’s license or ID that is REAL ID compliant.
Anyone with questions about REAL ID may visit: www.mass.gov/realID.
Additional information can be found on the website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security: www.dhs.gov/real-id-public-faqs.
Charlestown’s Dan Ryan cruised to victory Tuesday in the 2nd Suffolk District state representative Primary Election – besting
Chelsea’s Roy Avellaneda by more than 1,100 votes.
Because there is no Republican running on the other side of the ballot, Ryan automatically wins the General Election on April 1, which essentially made Tuesday night the real battle.
While Avellaneda campaigned hard in Charlestown, the votes essentially came down to Chelsea versus Charlestown – with the largest turnout in either locale determining the final winner.
The third candidate, Chris Remmes of Charlestown, ended up being a near non-factor – surprising many due to his active campaign and large organization.
The final districtwide numbers were as follows:
•Dan Ryan, 2,290
•Roy Avellaneda, 1,160
•Chris Remmes, 438
Avellaneda had made a push to get 2,000 votes out of Chelsea, though in the end even reaching that number wouldn’t have propelled him to victory.
Despite an active campaign in his hometown, Avellaneda got only 1,038 votes in Chelsea on a 13 percent turnout. The largest turnout appeared to be coming from Admiral’s Hill in Chelsea – where more than 300 votes were logged.
Ryan got 219 votes in Chelsea – perhaps helped by endorsements from City Council President Matt Frank.
Conversely, Avellaneda got 122 votes in Charlestown – a number that his campaign hoped would be much higher.
Remmes ended with 359 votes in Charlestown and 79 in Chelsea.
“Given the shortness of the campaign and the brutal weather conditions, we knew we had our work cut out for us,” said Avellaneda. “We did the best we could to turn out the Chelsea vote. We just came up short this time. I am very proud of my team and our volunteers and what we accomplished in this month-long campaign. I love this town and its people; we are very resilient. I congrulate Dan Ryan on his hard-fought victory and look forward to working with him on the issues that affect the district.”
In the end, it was a short race that was all about identifying and getting out voters, and in this day and age, Charlestown appears to have more of that crowd than Chelsea.
Ryan will appear as the only candidate on the ballot in the April 1 General Election.
When the Founding Fathers drew up our Constitution, the notion of a democratic form of government, in which every citizen was given the right to vote (although admittedly, citizenship in the late 18th century was conferred solely upon white males) was an almost-heretical concept in a world ruled by royals and oligarchs.
However, more than 200 years later, free and open elections in a democracy have become the gold standard, so to speak, to which the peoples of other nations aspire to attain.
This coming Tuesday’s local election is of particular significance for many reasons. Not only will voters be choosing our local government officials, but there are important ballot questions to be determined as well in our community.
It is ironic that voter turnout for local elections is far below that of Presidential elections. Despite former U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neil’s oft-quoted maxim, “All politics is local,” only a fraction of voters who come out every four years to vote for President do the same when choosing their local office-holders. Yet it is at the local government level that the office-holders whom we choose are in charge of so many of the things that are relevant to our daily lives, from the quality of our children’s education to our trash collection and everything in between.
More important, the amount of money that we send to local government from our real estate taxes, excise taxes, and water & sewer levies far exceeds (for all but the wealthiest among us) either our state or federal income taxes. This includes those who rent as well, because their monthly rent payments indirectly pay the property tax bills of the homes and apartments in which they live.
There are many important offices and ballot questions that will be decided at the ballot box Tuesday. Our Founding Fathers imposed only one duty, voting, upon every citizen. We urge all of our readers to take a few minutes of their time Tuesday to get out and vote.