Tag Archives: rmv

Tales of the RMV: Part 2

Since my last post in the series, I had finished the preparation process for the RMV. My paperwork in hand, with proper validations and all, I headed to the RMV. Let’s make this official, Massachusetts!

What, Mass? Let's make this official!

In the last stage of my journey, I figured I had overcome the biggest obstacles. If only!

On my way to the RMV, I have a difficult time finding the actual building. My GPS keeps directing me to a mall – and there are no signs anywhere. Finally, I give up and call a friend who informs me my GPS isn’t wrong – the RMV is in the mall. Um, what? Yes friends – this particular RMV is located within a mall.

I head inside, receive my number and anxiously wait to be called. The wait time was fairly accurate and after 40-minutes or so, I was talking with Jeanie who processed both my registration and license at the same time. It was kind of funny because, of course, she started as the stereotypical RMV worker – kind of grumpy and not willing to make eye contact. However when I turned on my Southern hospitality and dashing smile, she was wishing me best of luck! How great!?! And the hurdle that I had to overcome in the preparation process really made everything much smoother once I had to turn in all of my paperwork and money.

Let’s not joke around though, in Massachusetts, it takes quite a deal of money to register. I paid $125 for registration (cash or check only) and $100 for my license. This doesn’t even include a tax that I’ll apparently have to pay at the end of the year just for owning a car. Awesome! 🙂

Step three: registration and license. DONE!

Feeling lighter in my wallet but satisfied that my hazing to becoming an official resident of the state was over, I headed to my auto body shop to get my car inspected. By the way, your car has to be inspected by the state somewhere around 14-days after you register. Another pretty tight deadline!

When my car is inspected, it pretty much has nothing wrong except a brake light and the tint of my windows. The tint of my windows was apparently so dark that it wouldn’t pass the inspection process. What I failed to realize was that in Southern states, window tint standards are fairly low considering how sunny it usually is. The body shop had to keep my car for a day and remove the tint from all four windows of the car. This is also kind of expensive but without this, my car wouldn’t have been deemed legal in the state.

Once the tint was taken off, my car went on to pass with flying colors!

Step four: car inspection. DONE!

Two weeks after beginning the entire process, I finally had jumped all the hoops to get my car legal, registered and inspected. Not to mention that I now have a sweet Mass ID. I guess I’m not going anywhere for while. 🙂


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!