Hundreds forced to wait after Mass. driving test overbooked

WORCESTER, Mass. — Hundreds of teen drivers across the state may not be able to get their license for months after the RMV did not have enough open slots for their test dates.

Angry parents reached out to Boston 25 News when they learned their teenagers will have to wait months to take their test. The teens had signed up to take the state road test through local driving courses.

"We're kind of befuddled, we are upset, we would like to see something happen," said Director Central Mass Safety Council  and Auto School Tim Cooney.

Cooney was fielding phone calls after the RMV told customers that the slots promised by the driving school were not available, just two weeks before the scheduled date.

“While the Registry is not in the practice of canceling tests, we work closely with driving schools to assign the available number of road tests in advance, and continue to work with the schools and stakeholders to increase availability and improve the system for all of our customers," said RMV Spokesperson Judith Reardon Riley.

The drivers whose tests have now been postponed - are now being re-booked for the end of September and October.

“I've heard from approximately 20 parents. Two of them will have to pay $500 to have their kids go to school on a school bus if they don't get their license,” said Cooney.

Cooney said the number of license examiners at the RMV has dropped by nearly half in recent years, alarming state legislators.

Boston 25 News obtained a letter sent Monday to RMV leadership by State Rep. Hannah Kane, who wrote, "The cancellation of student driving exams continues to be a regular occurrence" and noted she had contacted the registrar with concerns in "September 2016...June 2017...but had not received a response to either inquiry.”

Cooney said he, like Rep. Kane, wants answers from the state.

“For some reason the registry doesn't, or is unable to hire more people,” he said.

The RMV said they are in the process of onboarding several new drivers test examiners and they also have two more vacancies. The RMV currently employs 41 road test examiners plus 5 supervisors, which will increase to 43 examiners with the vacancies being filled.

Comments on this article