No longer will you have to fight for a parking spot to register a vehicle, or dodge downtown traffic to take a road test.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles on Union Street in New Bedford closed for good on Friday afternoon, and the brand new facility in the New Bedford Industrial Park will open up for all RMV business this Monday morning.

"We're very pleased at the Registry of Motor Vehicles to offer the community on the SouthCoast a new and improved service experience," Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney told WBSM News.

The new facility, located at 212 Theodore H. Rice Boulevard in New Bedford, is being touted as having "a customer-friendly design."

"We picked this site out of multiple sites that we had to consider, because it gives us the ability to give a better service model to our customers," Deveney said, noting that they wanted to make sure it was a location reachable by public transportation as well. "We can increase the efficiency and reduce the time they have to spend in the service center to complete their business."

The RMV will be open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and then on Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.

The new Service Center will be larger, with a total of 9,024 square feet, and will have approximately 330 shared public parking spaces. There will also be nine upgraded work stations for specific transactions, and two registration-only work stations.

"Customers can go in and have comfortable seating, although it's our goal not to make them wait long in those seats before they are served, and they can have access to automated permit testing equipment, including the ability to take automated permit tests in 26 languages," Deveney said. "They will have better access and a better customer experience."

"It'll be a bright, modern, more retail-looking service environment that we hope will make them feel more comfortable while they complete their business," she said.

Deveney said access and parking were both long an issue on Union Street, where the RMV had been operating on a series of one-year leases since its move downtown from its former Kings Highway location.

"Our Union Street location was always intended to be a temporary location," she said. "While we developed a longer-term strategy for how we could improve our service offerings."

Mayor Jon Mitchell had been an advocate of keeping the RMV downtown, but Deveney said being in the industrial park will be more beneficial to a majority of customers.

"While we try to work with communities who would like us to be in a downtown area because customer traffic may help to revitalize other parts of downtown, there are residents who live the area abutting the downtown that don't appreciate the traffic generated by road tests or driving schools having students prep for road tests in these locations," Deveney said. "This new location will allow for those things in a way that won't upset any neighborhoods."



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