Amid statewide RMV outage, agency warns public about ‘deceptive’ and fraudulent websites

BOSTON — If you’re looking to renew your license or registration online, be careful. You may be on a fraudulent website claiming to be the official state Registry of Motor Vehicles website, officials warn.

The agency on Wednesday warned customers to use only its official website for business, citing the dangers of sites “created to mislead customers into thinking they have reached the official RMV website.”

The agency issued the warning amid a statewide outage that is impacting an array of RMV transactions.

“We urge everyone to be vigilant when performing transactions or providing information online for RMV-related services. Customers should avoid using any unofficial third-party websites claiming to assist with RMV services, and inform their relatives and friends about this as well,” RMV Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said in a statement. “On our official website Mass.Gov/RMV, customers can look up how much specific services cost and see which services are available to them at no charge.”

The official state website should be “used to perform many transactions, including when trying to renew a license or registration,” the agency said in a statement.

“While there has been no sharp increase in reports of deceptive and mimic websites to the RMV, this is a busy time of year for customer transactions so the RMV is issuing this reminder to the public about sites which have been created to mislead customers into thinking they have reached the official RMV website,” the agency said.

To ensure you are accessing the official RMV site, the agency issued the following tips:

  • In Massachusetts, officials use the term “Registry of Motor Vehicles” and “RMV,” so log-off if the site references the “DMV” or the “Department of Motor Vehicles.”
  • At Mass.Gov/RMV, you will never be charged to check your license, registration or title status.
  • At Mass.Gov/RMV, you will never be charged to access Registry forms and information.
  • At Mass.Gov/RMV, you will never be charged to change your address on file.

The Registry actively posts online about this topic including on X @MassRMV, and a warning regarding third party websites remains featured in the RMV’s Driver’s Manual.

Reports of fraudulent websites can be directed to the Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission.

In addition, the agency warned customers should beware of text messages or emails which claim to be from MassDOT or the RMV, “as these communications often are dangerous phishing scams and not official MassDOT and RMV sources.”

“These fraudulent texts and emails may include links, which do not lead to official MassDOT or RMV websites, and customers should not follow the links nor reply to these messages with personal information,” the agency said.

Anyone with questions about how to identify and avoid scams can call the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation’s Consumer Hotline at 617-973-8787, or toll-free in Massachusetts at 888-283-3757.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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