I-Team: Man receives 5 copies of license from RMV as others wait weeks for appointment
DANVERS - "It was comical to say the least," said Mark Veilleux, spreading five copies of his driver's license across the dining room table at his home in Danvers. He never ordered them in the first place.
They just mysteriously keep showing up in his mailbox from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. "This one showed up, and then I got this one three or four months after this one. And then three or four months after this one came, I got this one...so I have five licenses," he said. "Some people probably are waiting for their first one."
In fact, WBZ has heard from people who say they're jumping through hoops to get just one license.
"For me to make the appointment, about a month," said one driver leaving the RMV center in Revere. "They give you a number...so now I've got to come in line again, finish everything and come in line again," said another man.
A series of WBZ I-Team reports has revealed stories of people standing in line at RMV centers for more than an hour at a time, long wait times for hearings, and a drop in the agency's overall payroll for customer service agents.
But a spokesperson for MassDOT said staffing levels have actually increased in the longer term, with nearly 100 more full-time employees now than there were five years ago. According to the state, 4,965 Massachusetts residents are seen in-person every day at service centers, and the average wait time for appointments runs between two and six weeks.
"Making sure that residents are able to access state services, including the RMV is absolutely a priority," said Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey. "We want people to use the RMV in a way that's timely."
Healey is familiar with the issue. The I-Team obtained copies of more than 150 complaints about the RMV that Healey's team was looking into over the last two years during her previous job as Massachusetts Attorney General.
Among those complaints, one man wrote, "I am about to lose my mind." Another complained, "It has now been nearly four months and I have not received my plates." Another said he was "...disconnected after waiting on hold two hours." And another "waited in line for more than an hour and was turned away."
"It's impossible to get through to the registry on the telephone, and then the lines are out the door around the corner of the building. It's just a tough place to deal with," said Veilleux. For him, the situation is more amusing than anything else. But getting five copies of his license in the mail without an explanation makes him wonder if it's a sign of bigger problems.
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