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Registry of Motor Vehicles Investments
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FY09 House 2 Budget Recommendation:
Issues in Brief
Deval L. Patrick, Governor
Timothy P. Murray, Lt. Governor
The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) provides a wide range of important services to the citizens of the Commonwealth that include: issuing driver licenses, vehicle registrations and titles, development and enforcement of vehicle and driver safety policy and programs, public outreach and education, and partnerships with cities, towns and other agencies that use license suspension as a tool for enforcing important policies such as tax and fine collection, child support payment, sex offender registration and warrant execution. Governor Patrick's investment of $5M will add integral enhancements to these services.
Over recent years the Registry of Motor Vehicles has faced a broad range of increasing demands, notably taking on the provision of road tests from the State Police, expanded oversight of Junior Operator licenses, creation of a new school bus inspection program, and the implementation of Melanie's Law. Increased awareness of identity theft and security has caused increasing demands and documentation for licenses and other documents. To offset these demands, the Governor's budget targets an additional $5M in enhancements that include:
- Increases to the number of staff assigned to the Junior Operator License Program (JOL). Two out of five deaths among U.S. teens are the result of a motor vehicle crash (CDC 2004). The Governor's investment will support JOL programs dedicated to young drivers, such as Operation ETC-Every Teen Counts. Operation ETC conducts educational stings at local high schools to ensure compliance. The latest ETC event found that 95 percent of teenage drivers complied with junior operator passenger restrictions, but a disturbing number were not wearing seat belts. Increased funding for new JOL staff will provide additional opportunities to teach young drivers safe, responsible habits behind the wheel.
- New staff to assist in the administration of Melanie's Law. With additional investment by Governor Patrick this successful program, which was named for a Marshfield teen killed in 2003 by a repeat drunk driver, will continue to enhance the oversight of penalties and administrative sanctions for Operating under the Influence (OUI) offenders. Since 2005, tougher penalties and sanctions have been in place for OUI offenders. As shown in the following graph, more than 2,800 repeat offenders are using ignition locking devices which do not allow a vehicle to start if the device detects more than .02 alcohol in their system. Governor Patrick's investment will improve the effectiveness of the RMV to monitor OUI offenders.
- A commitment to providing the highest quality customer service at the Registry. The addition of new personnel at branch offices and call centers will reduce wait times and allow for faster transactions for registrations, licenses, plates, and medical placards.
- In many areas of the Commonwealth a registry branch is an important contributor to the local economy, attracting new businesses and visitors. With a high number of customers and the collection of over $400M in revenues, registry branches continue to be a safe place of business for citizens. However, with the dissolution of the Registry Police and the cessation of road tests by State Police troopers the branch offices lack a consistent security presence. Governor Patrick's budget funds the hiring of contracted security services to ensure a safe environment for customers and staff.
- Along with the Administration's Transportation and Information Technology Bond Bills, the Governor's budget provides for technology upgrades, including new features to enhance security of driver's licenses.
Prepared by the Executive Office for Administration and Finance • Rooms 373 & 272 • State House
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