• Mass. driving school owners say state finally listening on testing delays

    By: Kathryn Burcham

    Updated:

    BOSTON - The head of the RMV is promising major changes after a huge backlog of canceled driver’s license exams.

    The backlash hit the RMV Friday as angry driving school owners confronted officials there. Dozens of those driving school owners say after two years, the state is finally listening to them.

    “We have been frustrated because it's had a huge impact on our customer base, and on our business, financially,” Mass. Auto School owner Brian Hogan told Boston 25 News. 

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    The owners grilled the RMV registrar about what they call a road block in testing. 

    “It was a good opportunity for people to vent,” Central Mass. Safety School owner Tim Cooney said. 

    The wait to schedule a road test with an RMV examiner sits at three months.

    “I still have over 500 people looking for tests,” Cooney said. “I think that mainly because of channel 25 … it kind of lit a fire under the legislature, the parents and the state officials.”

    A month after Boston 25’s story on the backlog aired, registrar Erin Deveney called Friday’s meeting to find solutions amid a shortage of test examiners.

    “We absolutely at the registry are committed to providing better service,” she said. 

    Deveney blames the examiner shortage on attrition of RMV employees and budget woes. But during Friday's meeting, she told the owners help is finally on the way.

    The state is now computerizing their test scheduling process and promising to hire five additional examiners, bringing the total to 45 employees.

    Driving school owners told Boston 25 they're encouraged, and their students will be too.

    “I believe there is going to be some light at the end of the tunnel, you get all these kids that need to be tested, it's going to be a good thing,” said Hogan. 

    The RMV says it could take up to Thanksgiving to fill those positions. 

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