Tales of the RMV: Part 1

Since moving to Massachusetts, I knew I would eventually have to register my car and change my driver’s license to reflect my new residency! Though, if you’ve ever dealt with the department of motor services, you will agree – it’s usually a huge pain. So I put off this process until I absolutely had to, which came much quicker than I expected. My car’s registration was due to expire at the end of September and the inspection in August. Changing a driver’s license in Massachusetts is relatively simple but registration and inspection is not as easy.

The first step is to review everything needed at the RMV or Registry of Motor Vehicles, which is the same as the department – it’s just a fancier name as far as I can tell. Mass requires you to insure your vehicles with the state immediately but you need to provide valid in-state plate information seven days after the policy begins – which you can only receive once you register. So, from the time you start to prepare your car for registration, you are under a pretty tight time crunch. Oh, and did I mention that you absolutely have to have insurance in the state before you can even register the car? Cause you do!

And to make matters worse, though my car had been insured in Texas under Progressive, I wasn’t allowed to transfer my policy because of very strict rules within the state. In order to keep my insurance company, who I like very much, I had to open a new policy and cancel my old one.

Step one: insured in Mass. DONE!

Once you have insurance, you have to have the company or agent provide a special stamp on your RMV documents to prove the insurance is valid. Since I insured under Progressive (which is an online service), I had to drive 30-minutes outside of the city to get my forms stamped. I actually wasn’t informed of this when I opened my policy initially and thank goodness I called to learn about this before heading to the RMV!!

In order to complete the full process, I actually took a half day off of work, so I could drive to Dedham then back to Watertown to visit the RMV. I headed to Dedham and received the stamp pretty painlessly, actually. It was just far away from where the RMV was located, which is maybe a mile away from where I work.

Step two: insurance validated. DONE!

Now to visit the RMV….to be continued!

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