For Immediate Release: October 2, 2017
MassDOT Press Office: 857-368-8500
RMV Launches Updated Motor Vehicle Inspection Program
Drivers will not be impacted as inspection items and requirements remain unchanged
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has announced that its new public motor vehicle inspection system is operational today across the Commonwealth and all service stations which completed their obligations for installing new equipment and participating in training for that equipment are now conducting public vehicle inspections using new state-of-the-art testing equipment that incorporates best inspection practices currently in place throughout the industry. The items checked on each vehicle as of October 1, are the same as the items checked per vehicle prior to October 1.
“The Registry of Motor Vehicles is pleased to implement key upgrades to the Auto Emissions and Safety Inspection Program,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Erin Deveney. “The purpose of the inspection program technology including the introduction of cameras is to further ensure that only safe, non-polluting vehicles are on Massachusetts roadways. Motorists will not be impacted by the changes to the inspection process, as the items on a personal vehicle checked now are the same items checked by inspectors prior to October 1.”
The requirements for motor vehicles to pass the annual state safety and combined safety/emissions inspection and the inspection process have not changed. Rather, the program has been enhanced by the use of still-photograph cameras, new wireless testing equipment, robust workstations that include two printers, new improved sticker technology to prevent fraud, tablets for RMV field staff to use for real-time reporting to ensure that each station and inspector are working in compliance with program requirements, and in several months will be enhanced with the use of video.
Effective now, service stations are using cameras to take still photographs of five things: the vehicle VIN number, vehicle odometer, vehicle front license plate, vehicle back license plate and of the staff member doing the inspection at the service station. The cameras will document the status of the vehicle being inspected to ensure the accuracy of the inspection and enable inspectors to initiate video conferencing during an inspection if they need technical support. The addition of video camera technology will be introduced in January 2018.
The Massachusetts RMV presented information about the enhanced inspections taking effect October 1 at public meetings and for the last year and has been in frequent contact with service station owners about the changes for inspectors. The licensed inspectors at each station were required by the RMV to participate in training sessions offered on the features of the new program. Orientation sessions were also offered for those service station employees not yet licensed.
The cameras and other equipment for light duty workstations cost station owners $5,810 per work station. The cost for station owners offering inspections for heavy duty vehicles is $8,141.94 per work station.
As of October 1, the Commonwealth transitioned to a new system vendor, Applus Technologies. Applus was selected through an open solicitation, and received the Notice to Proceed for the contract on November 18, 2016. The contract was formerly managed by Parsons Technology.
The Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program is funded by the fee paid by vehicle owners at the time of inspection, which is $35 per vehicle. For each vehicle inspection, the station owner keeps approximately $23, while the remainder of revenue covers additional program costs, including the contract costs for the system vendor (Applus Technologies) and the oversight of the program done through the Registry of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Environmental Protection.
The Massachusetts Inspection and Maintenance Vehicle Check Program are jointly administered by the MassDOT RMV and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP). The RMV has administrative oversight of the program including licensing, oversight and enforcement of inspection stations and program inspectors. MassDEP has environmental oversight of the program.
Outreach to the inspection stations and to the industry in regarding to the new equipment:
The RMV actively works to engage the inspection station industry throughout all cycles of the inspection program. The industry engagement effort began in the fall of 2014 in anticipation of a new procurement effort due to the end of all available extensions of the contract with Parsons Technology on September 30, 2017. Several town meetings were held in the spring and fall of 2014 with participation from the industry trade association, the New England Service Station Association (NESSARA), which indicated support for upgraded technology and enhanced program features. This feedback was solicited before the RFI was posted for responses from the vendor community.
On June 24, 2016, Applus Technologies was named the apparent successful bidder for the inspection program and the MassDOT Board voted to approve the execution of the contract in October 2016.
In order to assist the inspection industry with the transition between inspection contractors, a website for inspection stations to register to participate in the program with Applus was available in February 2017. This website collected emails from inspectors and inspection stations so they could receive a steady stream of emails about the program and important information they would need to know throughout the program transition.
In mid-spring, key members of the inspection industry were invited to the RMV to see the prototype of the new workstations being introduced in the program. Later in the spring, the inspection industry newsletter was sent out with additional detailed information about the October 1st program.
Throughout the course of this summer, the contact with the inspection industry increased.
Site visits to participating stations began on July 10th in order for Applus technicians to review and provide stations with a list of program requirements that the stations needed to complete to be ready for workstation delivery and installation. Registration for free inspector orientation training opened in July 2017. Orientation sessions started on August 14th with up to 6 sessions per day across 5-6 regions in the state. As of September 23rd, the results of this industry effort included ensuring that 85% of inspectors who actively have performed inspections completed orientation. Also, 95% of licensed inspection stations have at least 1 inspector who completed orientation.
Workstation delivery began on August 17. In recent weeks, Applus has been calling stations to confirm all program requirements had been met by the station and to arrange installation appointments.