BOSTON - Go to any Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles office, you will likely be hit with exhausting lines.
"An hour and 25 minutes," said Ronnel Jimenez, when asked how long he waited. He had made an appointment online before he arrived. "I thought it was going to be quicker," he said.
Why the wait? Data on Massachusetts' transparency platform called CTHRU may shed some light. The RMV's payroll for customer service agents dropped 20% from last year's. Staff is down 150 employees from pre-pandemic 2019.
"Took me about an hour and a half to get to the window," said Joseph Guthro, who's from Lynn. It was his third time walking to the Revere RMV office from a bus stop to schedule a licensing appointment. "I just got back on the bus, came back here again, and I still can't get the right answers," he said.
When WBZ checked for appointments online, a "no appointments available" screen popped up for RMV offices in Boston, Attleboro, Lowell, Worcester and all points between. One turned up in Greenfield four weeks out, which would take almost two hours to get to.
"You go online, and you can't even do that," said Santiago Herrera. "It's not letting me make any appointments. So, you have to come in, wait in line, then they tell you...to come back in a few hours." When he returned as he was instructed to do, the line stretched out the door.
When WBZ checked for appointments by phone, the line disconnected repeatedly without ever connecting to a live person. That's why Dalton Reis came in person just to make an appointment. He said his new job requires him to get a new ID, which he hasn't been able to get. "Everything's on hold," he said.
WBZ asked a Massachusetts RMV spokesperson what the agency is doing to address the wait times and apparent backlog. So far, the RMV has not responded.
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