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Press Release  Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Work and Family Mobility Act

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  • Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles

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Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Celebrates One-Year Anniversary of Work and Family Mobility Act

Since Implementation of WFMA on July 1, 2023, the RMV Has Issued 183,825 New Learner’s Permits and 128,079 New Driver’s Licenses 

RMV Permit Tests Offered in 35 Languages; 

Phone and In-Person Assistance Available in 100 Languages  

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) came together today with elected and community leaders and immigration advocacy groups to mark the one-year anniversary of the Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA), celebrating the law’s success in having newly-eligible applicants pass learner’s permit exams and road tests to receive licenses. The WFMA provides the ability for residents who do not have lawful presence in the United States to be able to apply for a standard driver's license in Massachusetts. Those individuals who pass the necessary driving tests are issued a license which looks exactly like the license issued to other Massachusetts residents. 

Since the law went into effect on July 1, 2023, the RMV has issued 183,825 new learner’s permits and 128,079 new driver’s licenses to Massachusetts residents. This represents an increase of 161 percent for new learner’s permits and 132 percent for new driver’s licenses when compared to the same time period from 2022 to 2023. Approximately 54,238 out-of-state license conversions were processed, and this figure is part of the number of new driver’s licenses issued.   

“The Work and Family Mobility Act has made our roads safer, our economy stronger, and improved the quality of life for thousands of our residents,” said Governor Maura Healey. “I’m grateful for the hard work of our RMV employees to make the first year of implementation such as success, as well as for the advocates, elected officials and public safety leaders who made it possible for us to get here.” 

“The Work and Family Mobility Act makes sure that all of our residents can drive safely and legally to school, work, the grocery store, doctor’s appointments or anywhere they need to go,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “A huge congratulations goes out to everyone who got their driver’s license this past year because of this transformative law and to the RMV team for their hard work.”  

“Over the past year, the Work and Family Mobility Act has opened the door to RMV services for newly-eligible applicants and has set an example of what it means to put equity and human compassion at the forefront of public service,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “I want to salute our employees at the RMV, along with our non-profit and community partners who were instrumental with public education and outreach, for helping make WFMA so successful since its implementation.”    

“We are immensely proud of what our employees have accomplished over the course of the past 12 months, with the invaluable support from the advocacy community, to make the Work and Family Mobility Act a success and to meet the challenge of increased demand for our services across the state,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “What has been most rewarding is all the wonderful stories we’ve heard and examples we’ve seen since last summer of residents whose lives have been changed by this law. One of those examples is a daughter taking a picture of her mom to mark the special milestone of being issued a learner’s permit to drive, which was especially heartwarming.” 

The Massachusetts RMV took numerous steps to assist newly-eligible applicants under the WFMA, including hiring an additional 250 employes to accommodate the thousands of more credential applicants anticipated as of July 1, 2023.  In addition, existing front-line employees were trained as newly-eligible applicants would be required to present specific identity documents with applications. Knowing thousands of more residents would be eligible for driving licenses, the RMV expanded service by extending hours Monday through Friday and offering appointments on Saturdays at many service center locations. The RMV opened additional road test locations in Holyoke, Revere, Cambridge, Franklin, Worcester, and Brockton, to help handle increased demand for those newly eligible to obtain a license.     

The RMV has identified and created informational resources specifically to help guide new customers as they begin the process to secure a Standard License. To educate as many residents as possible about WFMA, the RMV and MassDOT created informational videos in SpanishPortugueseHaitian CreoleSimplified Chinese, and Vietnamese, as well as English. Meanwhile, to remove language barriers and support its customers, the RMV made language accessibility a top priority, translating written materials into 15 languages in addition to English, making permit tests available in 35 languages, and making interpreters (phone and in-person) available in more than 100 languages.    

To further support its outreach efforts, the RMV has worked directly with immigration advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and impacted communities to facilitate and coordinate public outreach and to solicit feedback on implementation efforts so that best practices can be adopted. 

“As cochairs of the Driving Families Forward Coalition, we were extremely proud when the Work and Family Mobility Act was implemented one year ago, an achievement that not only took years of work by the 200 organizations in our coalition, but also decades of activism from immigrant rights advocates and others beforehand,” said 32BJ SEIU Assistant to the President Roxana Rivera and Brazilian Worker Center Executive Director Lenita Reason. “That is why we felt so fortunate to work through the first half of 2023 with the incoming Healy administration, Attorney General Campbell’s office, and everyone at the Registry of Motor Vehicles on the many complex issues relating to the law’s rollout. We are deeply thankful for tremendous amount of work they have done and continue to do to make this law as accessible as possible. It has been implemented as smoothly and efficiently as anyone could have hoped, with profoundly transformative effects on the lives of many Massachusetts residents. Nothing could be more ordinary and more crucial than the simple opportunity to drive to work or take one’s children to the doctor, and we thank all the state agencies involved for their commitment to making that opportunity readily available to those who lacked it for so long.” 

“In the year since this law was passed, we have seen the real-life results of years of advocacy and perseverance: Tens of thousands of people who are now able to safely and reliably drive to work, bring their children to school, get to medical appointments on time, support their families and communities, and more. We thank the Healey-Driscoll administration and the Registry of Motor Vehicles for their partnership in the implementation of the law, as well as the Attorney General’s Office for ensuring robust privacy regulations so all people can drive safely,” said Laura Rótolo, Field Director, ACLU of Massachusetts. 

“It is gratifying to stand alongside the RMV and newly licensed drivers as we celebrate one year since the Work and Family Mobility Act came into effect,” said Julia Schlozman, Senior Staff Attorney for the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA). “Tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents have gotten their licenses, transforming the lives of people living in our communities. Parents can take children to school and to medical appointments. Workers can safely commute to and from jobs, benefiting our economy. The RMV and the Healey-Driscoll Administration have made this possible by being thoughtful and collaborative partners throughout the process.” 

The RMV also offers a pre-registering system that establishes a proactive process for booking appointments. Rather than checking the RMV website for an appointment, customers are able to request an appointment online, and will receive an email with a unique link when an appointment is available for them to schedule.       

The RMV remains committed to providing quality services to all eligible citizens of the Commonwealth and has been working diligently to develop informational resources, which include: 

  • An informational website with helpful information on the WFMA; details identification requirements and outlines steps which must be undertaken by eligible individuals to get a Standard Class D or Class M driver’s license, including successfully passing a vision screening; and scheduling separate appointments for a learner’s permit and road test. This site was launched in 2023 because the Registry is committed to supporting the needs of newly eligible applicants. 
  • A special informational phoneline, 857-368-WFMA (857-368-9362), to hear messaging in multiple languages.     
  • Frequently Asked Questions and a public flyer for customers as they prepare their applications.       

The RMV has also worked on additional ways to support residents by: 

  • Expanding call center staffing by 50 percent and adding a temporary, dedicated WFMA inquiry line operated by a vendor with live customer service representatives.  
  • Expanding staffing at customer service centers by 50 percent and expanding hours of operation at many locations to include Saturdays and some evening hours.     
  • More than doubling the number of road test examiners, adding temporary road test sites, and expanding hours for road test operations at many locations.  

For more information go to Mass.Gov/WFMA.  


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