RI DMV’s reservation system put in place during pandemic here to stay

East Bay

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) as Rhode Islanders knew it prior to the pandemic is now a thing of the past.

12 News has learned the DMV is making its online appointment reservation system permanent.

Last year, the pandemic forced the DMV to shift to an appointment-only system for a number of its services.

Sen. Louis DiPalma, who chairs the commission that studied the DMV, described the new reservation system as one of the few positives that came from the pandemic.

“Now when you go, it’s 10 or 12 minutes and it’s a whole different experience,” DiPalma said. “The feedback I’ve gotten from my constituents and others is to keep [the reservation system] going.”

DiPalma said while there were some initial problems implementing the reservation system, including people double-booking time slots, an upgrade scheduled for July should streamline the process even further.

Paul Grimaldi, a spokesperson for the DMV, said “…the development of a new and improved reservation system that will be released in July will be more user-friendly and should cut down or eliminate individuals making multiple reservations, which will make more reservations available for other customers.”

DiPalma also acknowledged the reservation system will require Rhode Islanders to rethink how they go to the DMV.

“It does require us to think a little bit as opposed to ‘I’ll just go to the DMV right now and wait three hours,'” he said.

Grimaldi tells 12 News the specifics of the system upgrade will be released once it’s launched next month.

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