This Is Framingham

This Is Framingham
Life in the ‘ham


May 11th, 2009

I had to renew my license, which had already expired since their new thing is not sending out reminders anymore, so went down to the RMV at 8:40am and saw a well established line of about 15-18 people.
This was a time where living downtown was convenient for me since I could walk here.  (I also had tried renewing online but the transaction failed for some reason).

When the door opened there was a RMV employee greeting people with a heavy New England accent directing us on what to do when we got inside, “Good mahning everyone…go right around the cahnaw”.  That was the most friendly I’ve ever seen an RMV employee be.   I’d love to know how these people got their jobs and wonder if when they started out they were all cheery and personable and then slowly transformed into some sort of robo-droid, or the RMV actually seeks out these types of personalities.  Maybe it’s because I wait tables and rely on customers being happy for my tips, but it seems like a pretty sweet job to not have to care about customer satisfaction or feel any pressure when people are waiting.  I really am jealous!  I know customers can be unreasonable too, but I get a certain staff-vibe when I go to the RMV. 

I always go in there with the expectation of being treated like a number and keep my sentences short and sweet about facts only since any human detail will not matter to them.  I had to get a new photo taken (which came out horrible of course) and was very surprised that the lady offered a blank expression AND “do you want to try again?” so I did and it only turned out 1% better but I didn’t dare ask for a third try thinking she’d make me take the worse of the two, and draw a moustache on it.

I will give the RMV credit and say the whole procedure of renewing my license was pretty painless. I waited about 10 minutes once I got in and the actual transaction was maybe another 5 minutes.  I feel lucky though because my friend was telling me she had to do the same thing except it took her a hour and a half.

I will cautiously catagorize this post under “yay” for location, speed of transaction and lack of emotional stress, but I do feel like I just lucked out today. 


  1. I was at the Framingham RMV last week getting a new license for a name change, and I will agree that their new system seems to make all the difference in the world. They separate licenses from registrations and it makes the wait much less! I like knowing the approximate wait time, and I can check from home computer before I leave if I have to head there mid-day! I also vote YAY (except for the fact they didn’t TELL YOU your license was expiring, how lame!)!

    Comment by Lisa May 11, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

  2. I have to agree that it seems, within the last year, suddenly the RMV employees are not nearly as surly as they used to be.

    Comment by Nick May 11, 2009 @ 12:48 pm

  3. Out of curiosity, is the elderly lady still there? She was the greeter on the left hand side when you go in to get the paper tag with the number on it. thanks

    Comment by Carol May 11, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

  4. I was there a couple of weeks ago and was very pleasantly surprised to find *efficiency* at a governmental outlet. And the people working there couldn’t have been any sweeter and acted like maybe, just *maybe*, they didn’t totally hate their jobs!

    And, yes, the old lady was still there, dispassionately handing out numbers with nary a smile or comment. I feel for her though; it can’t be easy to be 237 years old and still working at your first job.

    Comment by Brenda May 11, 2009 @ 5:26 pm

  5. I’ll take a small bow for the numbering system and the benches! I was part of the very small group that came up with that idea. My husband and I installed the first one at Nashua Street one weekend, actually. I haven’t worked for the RMV since 2000, though.

    You couldn’t renew online because you needed a new picture. I think it’s required every ten years. When I left, they let people take 3 images and choose the one they liked best. That may have changed now.

    I haven’t been to the Framingham office lately, but I’ve been to others, and I’ve come across some NASTY employees! There is no excuse for this sort of behavior. If you aren’t treated respectfully, COMPLAIN. Complain in person to the manager or assistant manager, and complain in writing to the Registrar. These employees get away with it because they can. They basically have a job for life unless they get called out enough times.

    BTW, I am APPALLED at the cost saving idea of not informing people that their license is about to expire. Driving without a license will get you thrown in jail, for god’s sake! No other state has such a stupid system.

    Comment by Susan Wrublewski May 12, 2009 @ 2:42 am

  6. Is the elderly “greater” really still there?? In that case, I might have to revise my previous statement. The last two times I was forced to visit the RMV she was nowhere to be found…

    Comment by Nick May 12, 2009 @ 12:17 pm

  7. I know this is off topic but just an FYI there were workers at the Main Street Bridge putting in a water main and cleaning up the site in preparation to begin construction of the bridge in mid-July when the steel arrives from overseas. Hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by CherG May 13, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

  8. The last couple of years I’ve had nothing but pleasant experiences at the RMV. I think the new system helps not just the customers, but the employees. I can imagine how surly *I’d* be if I had to wait on customers who were in foul moods because they had to stand in a long line. Being able to sit and read a paper or a book is in itself very relaxing. I grew up in Framingham and having been dealing with the RMV since my Learner’s Permit almost three decades ago. I think they’ve made a lot of progress and I thank them for it.

    Comment by MMM June 1, 2009 @ 1:45 pm

  9. I went to the RMV back in March to get my Liquor ID renewed and was pleasantly surprised by the speed with which everything was done, and this was around noon when it is usually busiest. Compared to my last trip there 5 years ago to get my Liquor ID and the whole setup was much more streamlined. What I thought would take me an hour and a half only took 25 minutes.

    Comment by Michael June 5, 2009 @ 9:31 am

  10. The RMV announced that they would no longer be mailing renewal notices to drivers when their Driver’s License or Inspection Sticker was about to expire.
    Fortunately, was created. is the original automated messaging service that reminds you when your Driver’s License or Inspection Sticker is about to expire. You decide when to be reminded. It’s quick, easy-to-use, and goes straight to your cellphone or Inbox so there’s no paper waste. That’s eco-friendly. What’s more, the service is tax free., a local small business getting things done by putting control in the hands of the people.

    Comment by License Reminder October 6, 2009 @ 3:40 pm

Comments RSS TrackBack URI

Leave a comment