RMV Safety

Employees in Masks at RMV Center

Percent of 18+ and Junior Operator customers who passed a road test exam on the first attempt

The pass rate on first attempt for those taking a road test exam is a measure that compares the total volume of road tests exams by age demographic (Junior Operator’s License (JOLs), and 18+ individuals) against those that pass their road test exam on the first try. 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 complete a driver’s education program 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 temporarily stopped administering road test exams during the pandemic due to safety concerns and to comply with state guidelines. When the RMV resumed administering road tests, state vehicles were used to conduct road test exams, sponsors were not allowed to accompany test takers in the vehicles, and additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols are in place.   During FY22, the RMV ceased using state vehicles and returned to applicant vehicles and pre-pandemic policies.

During FY22, 84 percent of JOL customers passed their road test exam on first attempt as opposed to 57 percent of 18+ customers passed their road test exam on first attempt. In FY21, a fleet of Commonwealth owned vehicles was deployed for road tests that continued to be used through FY22 and ceased their use on May 2, 2022.

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, at the time, the established federal compliance deadline in 2020. When being issued or renewing a driver’s license, customers can choose a standard Massachusetts license or identification card or REAL ID compliant license or identification card. There continues to be three types of licenses in circulation in Massachusetts. In addition to the Standard card or REAL ID, customers with credentials not up for renewal may still be in possession of a legacy MA credential issued prior to March of 2018.

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 initial REAL ID transaction in-person at a Service Center or AAA location to meet federal documentation and image capture requirements.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has since revised its REAL ID compliance deadline to allow more time customers to obtain a REAL ID. Beginning May 7, 2025, customers will need to present a REAL ID or another n acceptable form of federal identification for certain federal purposes such as boarding domestic aircraft. More information on REAL ID requirements in Massachusetts is available at Mass.gov/ID: https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-identification-id-requirements

At the end of FY22, 43 percent of customers held a REAL ID. There has been a steady adoption of REAL IDs, and the FY22 performance exceeded the target of 40 percent.

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 alcohol offenses, hit and run, or any other felony act.

In FY22, 98 percent of high priority out of state mail was processed within the next business day, exceeding the target of 90 percent.   This value held steady from FY21.

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 FY22,100 percent of low priority out of state mail was processed within the five business days, also exceeding the target of 90 percent.  This value also held steady from FY21.

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 FY22, 4 percent of vehicles failed their safety inspections. This value remained constant from FY21.

Overdue Vehicle Safety Inspections

Vehicle 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.  During FY22, the RMV initiated email reminders for customers who were one month overdue for their vehicle inspections.

At the end of FY22, 13 percent of vehicles had overdue vehicle inspections.   This decrease from 17 percent in FY21 can be attributed to email reminders to customers of overdue inspection.

Percent of citations submitted via e-Citation

The RMV’s e-Citation program, or electronic citation program, allows law enforcement to submit citations to the RMV through an electronic system. The RMV currently accepts citations via paper and electronic methods from 144 local police departments and the Massachusetts State Police. Interested police departments are encouraged to join the e-Citation program.

In FY22, 689,778 citations were submitted to the RMV. An average of 63 percent of those citations were submitted via the e-Citation process, which fails to meet the target of 75 percent.  While this does not meet the target, this is an increase from 51 percent in FY21.  Adoption of e-Citation by additional police departments will assist RMV in achieving this target.

Total volume of license and CDL suspensions

License suspensions in Massachusetts occur when a driver’s license or right to operate has been suspended or revoked 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 or suspension of operating privileges. For more information on the type of motor vehicle suspensions and CDL suspensions visit mass.gov/RMV

In FY22, there were 115,922 suspended drivers, with 2,434 of those drivers holding CDL licenses. On average 2.1 percent of license suspensions were issued to CDL holders.

Total volume of Suspension hearings

The RMV process for a reinstating a suspended license or registration 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.  Appointments are made online with the ability to upload documents to streamline hearing processing time and reduce the need for multiple hearings for one subject matter and customer.

Due to the pandemic, the RMV started conducting suspension hearings exclusively over the phone. In FY22, hearings continued this trend with most hearings occurring in a virtual format. In FY22, there were 66,009 hearings held at the RMV. This includes General, Public Safety, Vehicular Homicide, and Interlock hearing types.