Outage in Mass. RMV Inspection Sticker System Leaves Some in the Lurch

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles said the system will be down until at least Saturday

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No one wants a rejection sticker, with their big red "R," affixed to their windshield.

“I found out this tire here failed it, that’s why I got that,” said Joseph from Framingham, who got a new tire and went to get his truck re-inspected well within the 60-day window to avoid any issues.

But he's going to have to wait a little while longer to get it taken off. Due to a malware attack on vendor Applus Technologies, service stations throughout Massachusetts lost the ability to issue inspection stickers for the past week.

“Figures the day I get it fixed, they go down,” Joseph said.

More than a year after a scandal revealed a stunning back at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, the agency said it’s finished processing boxes of out-of-state notifications it had ignored for years. That development was included in a letter Registrar Jamey Tesler sent to Sen. Eric Lesser this month.

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles said the system will be down until at least Saturday. On Tuesday, it announced a grace period for some expired motor vehicle inspection stickers and said it was working with police departments statewide so they are aware.

"The RMV shares the frustrations and disappointment with the tremendous inconvenience Applus's outage is causing and recognizes the significant impacts on customers and business owners across the Commonwealth,” acting Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said in a statement.

But Joseph said he's been pulled over not just once, but three times, and was even issued a warning Tuesday.

“The Registry of Motor Vehicles said they notified the police departments,” said Joseph “but the police departments are not notifying their officers.”

Joseph’s mechanic, Jorge Mendez with Mendez Auto Service, said the state has assured them there will be extensions for drivers with rejected stickers and there won’t be penalties for drivers with expired stickers.

“The registry knows about all the concerns, but their biggest concern right now is just being online again,” Mendez said.

Meanwhile, family-owned service stations like his have been losing money every day the technology remains down.

“It’s been extremely rough because we rely on, not only the inspections to bring in extra revenue, lights and suspension and all that,” said Mendez, “but, you know, $35 each vehicle, it’s a big help.”

Mendez said the hope is that, once the system is back up and running, they’ll get back the business they’re losing out on now – and get their customers’ inspections back up to date.

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