The state Registry of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday instituted a temporary appointment-only system for certain in-person transactions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The RMV provided details in a statement.
Effective Tuesday, the statement said, “an appointment-only reservation system is being implemented for certain necessary and required in-person transactions at the RMV’s eight open and operating Service Centers. These essential transactions include certain Commercial Driving License (CDL) transactions and some new registrations.”
Reservation times will be available on a rolling basis up to two business days in advance. Reservations can be made online at www.Mass.Gov/RMV in the myRMV Online Service Center under “Make or Cancel a Reservation,” the statement said.
“Customers who make an appointment will be sent a confirmation email that they should be prepared to show on arrival,” the RMV said. "The Milford and Wilmington RMV Service Centers will remain open to exclusively perform walk-in commercial transactions for CDLs and permits (CLPs), and CDL road tests continue to be administered."
The announcement Tuesday followed earlier changes that took effect Monday, including new protocols for license suspension hearings.
“Applying for and initiating a suspension hearing to seek reinstatement will continue to require an in-person visit to an RMV Service Center, but the hearings are now being conducted by phone,” the statement said.
Some suspended customers may already be able to complete the reinstatement process and payment online if all other requirements have been satisfied by visiting www.Mass.Gov/RMV and selecting "Pay my Reinstatement Fees,” the statement said.
Hearing are being held at RMV locations in Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester, according to the statement, which said weekly hearings at the Pittsfield RMV are scheduled to resume Mar. 25, the agency said.
No hearings will be conducted in Plymouth, and chemical test refusal hearings are only held at the Haymarket location, according to the statement.
“Customers arriving at these locations to request a hearing will be provided tickets on a limited first-come, first-served basis, depending on the availability of Hearings Officers at that location that day,” the statement said. “Customers should bring copies of all necessary documents, depending on the type of suspension, to submit along with an application completed on-site. A Hearings Officer will call a customer directly to conduct their suspension hearing by phone.”
In addition, the statement said, CDL medical certificates with an expiration date after Mar. 1 have a 60-day extension to prevent license downgrades and elective medical visits.
The RMV also noted that on Monday, the federal government announced a delay of the October 2020 REAL ID compliance deadline.
Effective Mar. 25 until April 7, the statement said, the RMV is also “suspending the issuance of new REAL IDs and knowledge/written exams for non-commercial learner’s permits, both of which are currently required, but non-essential, in-person transactions.”
The registry reminded the public that all “non-commercial Class D and M road tests for permit holders have already been suspended through April 6th."
Renewals for standard driver’s licenses and ID credentials can be done online at www.Mass.Gov/RMV, the statement said, and more than 40 other transactions can be conducted online, over the phone, or by mail.
And as of Tuesday, the RMV said, AAA locations were still offering “select RMV” services to AAA members in Massachusetts.