RMV Safety

Employees in Masks at RMV Center

Percent of 18+ and Junior Operator customers who passed a road test exam

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The pass rate for those taking a road test exam is a measure that compares the total volume of road tests exams by age demographic (Junior operators license (JOLS), and 18+ individuals) against those that pass their road test exam. In Massachusetts, you must pass a road test exam to be eligible for a driver’s license. Junior operators are any driver under the age of 18, they are also required to attend driver’s education before their road test exam. Customers who are 18 years of age and older do not have to attend driver’s education classes.

The RMV stopped administering road test exams during the pandemic due to safety concerns and to comply with state guidelines. Since road tests resumed in June, state vehicles are now used to conduct road test exams, sponsors are no longer allowed to accompany test takers in the vehicles, and additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place.

During FY20, 86 percent of JOL customers passed their road test exam, meeting the target of 80 percent. 60 percent of 18+ customers passed their road test exam, meeting the target of 50 percent. Due to the pandemic, no JOL road test exams were held in May 2020. Additionally, due to the pandemic, total volume of road test exams dropped significantly after February 2020. This resulted in a 96 percent drop in May 2020 in road test exams being conducted and created a backlog of 17,000 exams.

Percent of customers that have a REAL ID vs standard and legacy ID

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Massachusetts began offering a REAL ID compliant credential in March 2018 to meet the federal requirement deadline in 2020. When being issued or renewing a driver’s license, customers can choose a standard or REAL ID MA credential. Customers with credentials not up for renewal may still be in possession of a legacy MA credential.

Federal regulations due to the REAL ID law impact the options customers have when renewing their license or ID. If a customer chooses a REAL ID credential, they must complete their transaction at a Service Center or AAA location.

Additionally, due to the pandemic, in-person customer options were extremely limited in the last quarter of FY20. Federal regulations were also changed to allow for more time to obtain a REAL ID. Customers now have until October 21, 2021 to obtain a REAL ID as an acceptable form of federal ID. Due to restricted in-person transactions during the pandemic, the RMV will upgrade any ‘standard’ Massachusetts driver’s license/ ID card obtained online from June 12 to August 12, 2020 to a REAL ID at no additional charge.

More information on REAL ID requirements in Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-identification-id-requirements

At the end of FY20, 27 percent of customers held a REAL ID. There has been a steady adoption of REAL IDs, and the FY20 performance exceeded the target of 25 percent. Total volume was low for REAL ID transactions due to a suspension for REAL ID license/ID renewals in March. In person renewals resumed in September 2020. REAL IDs were still issued as part of a first-time applicant transaction (i.e. OOS conversion, new Mass ID) from March 2020 to September 2020.


Out of State Mail Processing


The out of state (OOS) mail measures track the performance of the out of state mail processing program which handles violations and citations of Massachusetts drivers from other states. Cases are processed within two queues: high priority and low priority.

High Priority: Percent of high priority OOS mail processed within the next business day

The percentage of high priority out of state (OOS) mail processed within the next business day compares total volume of OOS mail with high priority mail that is processed within the next business day. High priority mail is defined as out of state violations or citations that are related to severe motor vehicles violations and criminal acts such as OUI’s, hit and run, or any other felony act.

In FY20, 86 percent of high priority out of state mail was processed within the next business day, falling just under the target of 90 percent.

Low Priority: Percent of low priority OOS mail that has been processed within five business days

The percentage of low priority out of state mail processed within five business day compares total volume of OOS mail with low priority mail that is processed withing five business days. Low priority mail is defined as out of state violations or citations that are non-felony related such as moving violations, speeding, texting while driving, or multiple convictions.

In FY20, 76 percent of low priority out of state mail was processed within the five business days, failing to meet the target of 90 percent.


Vehicle Inspections

The Massachusetts Vehicle Check program is the vehicle emissions testing and safety inspection program for the Commonwealth. All vehicles driven on Massachusetts roads must pass a yearly safety inspection and newly purchased vehicles must be inspected within seven days of registration. Vehicle inspection data is collected by the APPLUS system of record.

Percent of failed vehicle inspections due to safety

For passenger vehicles, fourteen key components of a vehicle are evaluated during the safety inspection. A vehicle may fail its safety inspection due to a faulty taillight, cracked windshield, defective suspension component, or any other defect. A vehicle that fails its safety inspection must be repaired immediately and be re-inspected within 60 days.

The percentage of failed safety vehicle inspections is reported through the APPLUS system and is calculated by the total volume of vehicles inspections compared with the total volume of safety failures.

In FY20, 5 percent of vehicles failed their safety inspections.

Overdue Vehicle Safety Inspections

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Vehicles inspections occur annually in MA. When a vehicle does not complete a vehicle inspection by the last day of the month of their expiration, they are considered overdue for their vehicle inspection.

In response to the pandemic, the RMV extended vehicle inspection expiration dates for commercial and non-commercial customers. All customers with vehicle inspections due in March 2020 through June 2020 were given until July 2020 to complete their inspection. This data accounts for the extension.

In FY20, an average of 19 percent of vehicles had overdue vehicle inspections, with a steady increase beginning in April 2020.


Percent of citations submitted via e-citation

The RMV’s e-citation program, or electronic citation program, allows local and state police to submit citations to the RMV through an electronic system. The RMV currently accepts citations via paper and electronic methods from 67 local police departments and the Massachusetts state police. The program is constantly adding new police departments to this effort.

In FY20, 925,909 citations were submitted to the RMV. An average of 38 percent of those citations were submitted via the e-citation process, which fails to meet the target of 70 percent. There has been a decline in citation volume since the pandemic started, but there has also been an overall drop in e-citation submission since December 2019. More work is needed to ensure police departments start utilizing the e-citation program to meet the FY22 target.

Total volume of license and CDL suspensions

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License suspensions in Massachusetts occur when driver’s licenses have been revoked or considered invalid by law enforcement due to a violation in driving laws. CDL drivers are held to higher standards than passenger drivers and have more disqualifying factors that lead to a license suspension. For more information on the type of motor vehicle suspensions and CDL suspensions visit mass.gov/RMV

In FY20, there were 170,507 suspended drivers, with 25,285 of those drivers holding CDL licenses. On average 4.6 percent of license suspensions were CDL holders.

Total volume of Suspension hearings held in person and on the phone

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The RMV appeals process for a license or registration suspension is called a suspension hearing. If your driver’s license, learner’s permit, vehicle registration, or right to operate is suspended or revoked, you can seek a hearing at Service Centers to appeal your suspension of revocation.

Due to the pandemic, in March the RMV started conducting suspension hearings exclusively over the phone through the Contact Center.

In FY20, there were 90,703 hearings held at the RMV. A total of 28 percent or 25,439 hearings were held by phone through the Contact Center.

Average Number of Days to close a suspension hearing

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The average number of days to close a suspension hearing is calculated by the time from the date a case was opened and when the case was closed.

While suspension hearings volume increased in FY20, both in person and on the phone, the average number of days to close a case significantly improved. Beginning in January 2020, cycle time was down to one calendar day from 10. On average in FY20, it took three days to close a suspension hearing case.