RMV offering grace period for Massachusetts residents with expired inspection stickers

Massachusetts

(WWLP) – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is allowing a grace period for specific motor vehicle inspection requirements since the nationwide system outage has made it difficult for residents to get their car inspection stickers since the end of March.

Inspection stations in Massachusetts have been unable to provide services since March 30 due to an outage caused by a malware attack against the vendor, Applus Technologies. The RMV has advised police about the ongoing issues and they ask that drivers with expired stickers not get fined or ticketed until the problem is fixed.

MassDOT said inspections will still not be performed Wednesday, April 7, Thursday, April 8, or Friday, April 9. The RMV is allowing a grace period for the following specific motor vehicle inspection requirements:

  • Motor vehicles with expired inspection stickers from March 2021 should be granted until April 30 to obtain an inspection
  • Vehicles newly purchased or registered on or after Tuesday, March 23 should be granted until April 30 to obtain an inspection. Newly purchased vehicles must typically be inspected within seven days of registration
  • Customers who recently had an inspection rejection and are in the 60-day free retest window will be afforded one extra day for each day Applus’s system remains unavailable but should plan to facilitate their inspection as soon as possible once the system is restored and stations are online

But the system outage isn’t just impacting drivers. Inspection car shops are being hurt as well.

“It has been kind of rough. It’s been hurting us as a shop because it is a way to make money. A lot of car owners don’t know what is wrong is them until they actually come here,” Top Truck in West Springfield vehicle inspector, Matthew Laberdiere told 22News.

The RMV anticipates the outage will continue through Friday and right now many shops are in phase two, the “restoration phase” of getting their shops up and running. There are three phases to restart the system. Top Truck told 22News the RMV will let them know on Sunday if they’ll be able to start inspections on Monday.

Getting your car inspected annually is important for the safety of yourself and others on the road Top Truck explained. “Parts do fail. They don’t necessarily fail in a couple weeks, it could be in a year or two so it’s always good to make sure all the parts are safe on the vehicle,” Laberdiere said.

But getting your car inspected isn’t just about safety, it also helps the environment. “You want clean byproduct from the engine to make sure it’s clean coming out because you want to lower the green houses gasses to make a safe atmosphere,” Laberdiere continued. According to emissions.org, “Massachusetts set up its emissions testing program with the intent of improving the air quality as well as the health of the citizens of Massachusetts.”

The RMV has continued to urge Applus to safely and quickly restore services and provide additional information on the extent of the outage’s impact. There is a three-phase process in order to return the Massachusetts Vehicle Check Program to full service and it’s currently in the restoration phase. This phase involves the resetting of Applus Technologies’ IT environment and will take some time to restore.

According to and update posted on the Mass Vehicle Check website, starting Wednesday and over the rest of the week, inspection stations will be receiving an important package. Stations are advised to look out for this package as it contains important materials for restoration.

The RMV is working with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association, the Massachusetts State Police, and other stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of the outage. The RMV along with the Department of Environmental Protection has also notified Applus that it is in breach of its contract and is exploring all possible remedial measures stated in the contract as Applus works to restore service as fast as possible.

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