Published on the State House News Service
Written by Katie Lannan
RMV CHIEF OUTLINES REAL ID, WAIT TIME TRENDS
By Katie Lannan
STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE
BOSTON, SEPT. 27, 2018....More than four months after the state started issuing driver's licenses that comply with the federal Real ID security law, the standard license continues to be the most popular service option for customers at Registry of Motor Vehicles locations, according to data presented Monday.
For customers who get their licenses at AAA locations instead of RMV branches, however, the Real ID is the most popular option, Registrar Erin Deveney told the Department of Transportation Board of Directors.
Massachusetts in March began offering the Real ID-compliant licenses, which require additional documentation to obtain. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the standard licenses that are not Real ID-compliant will no longer be accepted as identification for domestic air travel or entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.
The Saugus AAA branch, the location that issued the most licenses in August, issued nearly 1,600 licenses that month, of which less than 500 were standard and the rest were Real ID-compliant, according to Deveney's presentation. Meanwhile, the Haymarket RMV in Boston issued more than 10,000 licenses, of which roughly 6,000 were standard.
The launch of the Real IDs and a corresponding new computer system earlier this year led to delays and longer lines immediately after the switch.
The median transaction time for applicants for a new license or state ID hit nine minutes and 43 seconds in April, and was down to seven minutes and 49 seconds in August, Deveney said. License and ID renewals had a median transaction time of nine minutes and 17 seconds in April, and seven minutes and 52 seconds in August.
Deveney said wait times had "progressively improved" in July and August, while customer volume increased.
In July, 74 percent of customers had a wait time of under 30 minutes, up from 63 percent in July 2017. Seventy-nine percent had a wait time under 30 minutes in August 2018, up from 66 percent in August 2017.
Transportation Secretary Stephanie Pollack said MassDOT recently agreed to a "very fair collective bargaining agreement" with a group that primarily represents RMV customer service representatives.
The agreement, according to MassDOT, will allow approximately 528 nonprofessional clerical and administrative staff members to receive 2 percent wage increases for three years, with the first taking place retroactively on July 1, 2017.