Charlie Baker, Republican gubernatorial candidate, wanted the RMV to make up for lost time while the website was down before rate increases. Please see below for the article in Mass Agent (MAIA) newsletter.
Baker: After Site Problems, RMV Should Delay Fee Increases
After the Registry of Motor Vehicles took down its website for periods of the last weekend in June, preventing consumer from conducting transactions online as fee increases were planned to go into effect, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker called on the RMV on Monday morning to delay the fee increases until the end of the week. Though RMV officials said the new fees are already in place and would not be changed, the agency is looking to refund a small number of customers who were detected by the system to be attempting to perform a transaction when the website was unavailable. At the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, the price of vehicle registrations rose from $50 to $60, inspections jumped from $29 to $35 and driving test fees rose by $15 to $35. Drivers hoping to renew their registrations online before the fee increase went into effect had trouble at times accessing the site due to scheduled maintenance. Sara Lavoie, the new chief of staff at the RMV, said the website was taken down for periods in the days before the fee increases went into effect to install security software and program the new fees and conduct tests. "We have heard from six customers who attempted to perform a transaction just prior to 12am on Tuesday, July 1. The RMV will be reviewing the individual customer cases to determine eligibility for a refund based on their transaction time," Lavoie said. Baker said drivers should be given until the end of the week to take advantage of lower pricing.
"Delaying the fee increases until the end of this week is the fair thing to do because the state screwed up," Baker said in a statement. "The people of Massachusetts deserve websites that work, a real sense of customer service, and a state government that owns its mistakes, rather than passing them on to its constituents. With glitches and errors plaguing the Health Connector site, the unemployment benefits system, and now the RMV site, it is not fair for Massachusetts families to pick up the tab or endure the headache of essential services that just don‘t work." The RMV said 35,370 customers were able to make online transactions the weekend of June 28 and June 29, an uptick of 6,484 from the previous weekend. The website was unavailable for scheduled upgrades on Monday, June 30, the day before the fee increases took effect, from 11 p.m. to midnight, according to the RMV, while the automated phone system was taken down that day from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. to change the message content and from 11 p.m. through Tuesday, July 1 at 6:48 a.m. for maintenance and testing for self-service transactions. The website was also down on the morning of Saturday, June 28 for the installation of a new firewall and security upgrades." – M. Murphy/SHNS