I’ve lived in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts my entire life, with the exception of a 14 month stint in Rhode Island. Dealing with the Mass RMV is a pleasure. You walk in, they tell you what paperwork you need, the clerk handles everything quickly and efficiently. It really is a great example of government working for you.
That was Massachusetts.
The Rhode Island DMV was an aggrivating, horrible, enraging ordeal. Only one of their offices (Pawtucket) is open every day, most are only open two days a week. The lines at the satelite offices are either non-existant, or they wrap around the building. No middleground. You can guess where you’ll hit it.
If you’re from out of state, to transfer the registration for your car, you need to have a VIN check at your local police station. Of course, they only do VIN checks at certain times. Give the desk clerk the $10, an officer comes out and runs your VIN to make sure the car isn’t stolen. It hooks up to the same computer the registry has, why can’t the registry do it?
I sat on the church-style pews in the Pawtucket registry office (the old one) for eight, yes eight, hours to register my wife’s car. It had just been paid off, the loan was held by a Massachusetts company. The title was in Mass, but hadn’t been transferred to Rhode Island. The nightmare of waiting, going to a desk when the computer calls you, being told “no, you need this,” getting it from a different line, then having to go back to wait in the first line, only to need a stamp from that lady over there, I left a very disgruntled customer.
When I moved back to Massachusetts, I was in and out of the Fall River registry office in less than 30 minutes, with my wife and I’s licenses and registrations converted. Say what you want about Massachusetts, but they have their proverbial stuff together. Although I work in Rhode Island, and my entire family on my mother’s side lives there, you could never pay me enough to move back there. Move to Massachusetts or Connecticut and drive in - thats what everyone else does.
On a side note, the law in Rhode Island is that you have to change your license and registration within 7 days of moving there. To do that, you need to prove residency. Residency is proven with a bill stub. How do you get a bill (which is usually mailed monthly) after only living there for less than seven days?
Good luck getting this straightened out. The workers at the RI DMV try to be helpful, but the system that they’re dealing with is about as arcane as any could be made to be. It’ll sort itself out in the end.