2 more RI DMV offices back open amid statewide computer upgrade

WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Thursday, the Woonsocket and Middletown offices of the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles opened their doors to reservations as the department works through its massive computer system upgrade.

They join the Cranston headquarters of the DMV in a system where you must sign up online for a slot before you can even enter the building for business. Now, Rhode Islanders have 270 more reservation slots to bid for.

The reopening was possible “because things are going well,” said spokesperson Paul Grimaldi. “The system is functioning the way we expected it to be.”

Instead of turning on the full fire hose of the entirely new system, the division is returning to full operation in stages. Online transactions resumed last week shortly after they reopened the Cranston facility, giving employees a chance to get used to the new computer system launched this month.

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“One of the main things they are seeing with the reservation system is we can kind of moderate the flow,” Grimaldi said. “People come in at 8:30, 9, 10. It’s not 200 people waiting in line at 7:30, trying to get in right away.”

Every day there’s now 150 reservations available in Woonsocket and 120 in Middletown. Customers seeking in-person service for the near future should check the reservation site regularly. Additional reservations may open up periodically.

“In Woonsocket, there’s about 15 reservation slots every half-hour or so; in Cranston, it’s about 40 reservation slots every 15 minutes, because there’s just more volume there. So we can moderate it,” Grimaldi added.

All of the DMV offices are now slated to be back open next Tuesday, July 18 — and reservation-free.