Massachusetts RMV Bravely Battles Long Line Wait Times

By: Bridget Clerkin November 3, 2015
The MA RMV hopes new express lines will help ease wait times.
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The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles wants its customers to experience life in the fast lane.

Battling its popular perception as a slow-moving and inefficient institution, the government agency has started introducing express lines at some of its branches, giving RMV customers the chance to skip out on some extra line waiting if they come to the Registry prepared.

The idea is for residents who have their paperwork already completed to wait in a different—and, hopefully, faster-moving—“express” line. Called “Ready to Go” lines, the queues will be marked with signs painted green—the universal color for “go”—while regular lines will be marked with orange signs.

The concept allows those people to skip out on the somewhat redundant initial line that RMV customers must wait in to get a number, which will determine when an agency employee will help them. Typically, customers will queue up outside—sometimes before the RMV office even opens—until they receive their number, placing them in the official line.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles instituted the express line idea at two branches—Leominster and Worcester—earlier last month, and the operation went so smoothly, it was soon introduced at several other locations, as well.

In one instance, the dual lines whittled the wait time for getting inside the RMV office from 45 minutes to four or five minutes, with 60 customers getting the chance to enter the building within 10 minutes, the RMV reported.

All together, the express line model is currently available at RMV branches in:

  • Braintree.
  • Lawrence.
  • Leominster.
  • Wilmington.
  • Worcester.

According to RMV head Erin Deveney, the idea came from some Massachusetts branches that were already successfully swifter than their fellow offices. The trick, she said, came from helping customers as early in their visit as possible.

And while it wasn’t clear which—if any—offices would be next to incorporate the Ready to Go concept, Deveney said the idea supports the RMV’s larger campaign for helping customers get serviced as quickly as possible.

Other facets of that movement—called the “war on wait times,” according to Deveney—include a push to educate residents about the different RMV services they can access online. More information can be found at or on the RMV’s Twitter page, @MassRMV.

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