Rhode Island DMV appointment-only basis now permanent

CRANSTON, R.I. (WLNE)- One thing you typically never look forward to: going to the DMV.

The Rhode Island Department of Motor Vehicles was forced to switch to an appointment-only basis during the pandemic, in effort to reduce the number of customers going in and out.

That temporary change is now permanent, completely redefining the DMV experience.

While the process reduces the amount of time waiting and being serviced at the DMV, customers will now have to secure an appointment in advance. The appointment-only service stands for all Rhode Island DMV locations.

“When I came without an appointment, I couldn’t get in even though I was already here,” said Jose Amosquea.

Amosquea showed up to the DMV on Tuesday, not knowing an appointment was required.

“Getting an appointment is easy on the website, but it was inconvenient for me because I had to miss two days of work- yesterday and today.”

DMV officials say the change prompted a positive response, as customers seemed to be in and out of the DMV within minutes as opposed to hours.

“Instead of having to be here for an hour or two, waiting to get serviced, they can be in and out in less than 15 minutes,” said Paul Grimaldi, spokesperson for the Rhode Island Department of Revenue.

The DMV now offers an online reservation system to schedule an appointment through. Appointments for each week open up Friday afternoons and appointments for a month in advance open up Monday mornings.

The new system complicates the process for those who are used to simply showing up and waiting in line, or for those without internet access or who have a language barrier.

The DMV says to reduce the stress those customers may feel about the switch, the department is providing drop-off boxes and call-in staff to point those people in the right direction.

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island