Official: RI DMV officially reopens, wait times ‘less than 20 minutes’

CRANSTON, R.I. (AP/WPRI) — The Rhode Island DMV has officially reopened using its new computer system, but reservations will still be required at all branches for around a week and a half.

Paul Grimaldi, a spokesperson for the R.I. Department of Revenue, said wait times at the DMV were less than 20 minutes as of late morning.

“It’s been going smooth from the beginning of the day and we hope that it continues throughout the day,” Grimaldi said.

The DMV closed Monday and Tuesday while a new $19-million computer system was being installed. Starting Wednesday and through July 17, the agency is only serving customers who made reservations in advance. Officials say that will give staff time to get used to the new system.

In addition, some DMV branches will remain closed as late as July 20.

Robert Mulcahy was the first customer to arrive under the DMV’s new reservation program. He was in line at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

“I kind of expected there’d be a larger crowd here. I usually like to come early, but I probably came a little bit too early,” Mulcahy said.

“I wanted to get here and get out of here,” he said.

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Customers arriving at DMV offices must either print out a confirmation of their reservation with a bar code, or have it available on their phones. Reservations can be made through the DMV’s customer reservations portal. Customers will also need to bring proof of identification to be allowed into the building.

The DMV said there will be no early check-ins and that customers will not be served until 15 minutes prior to their reservation times.

To help ease the transition, the agency is extending July expiration dates for licenses and registrations until September, and also extending temporary license plates from 20 days to 40 days.

“We’ve been in contact with the TSA over the last several weeks. They should be aware across the country that you’ll be traveling on an expired licence,” Grimaldi said. “They should bring a second form of ID and they shouldn’t experience any problems at airports around the country.”