Panned in March for trying to charge customers $5 per branch visit in an effort to increase online transactions, the Registry of Motor Vehicles is leaner and meaner than ever.
“One positive thing that came out of it is we got a lot of attention for what we can do online,” said Registrar Rachel Kaprielian, who has increased online transactions 38 percent in her two-year tenure.
Recently the RMV reached out to youngsters by allowing them to schedule road tests online, a service notorious for clogging RMV phone lines.
“By and large, young people are tech savvy,” Kaprielian said. “They think it’s stupid to do something offline.”
But not all customers will be rushing to log on.
“I had a computer and nobody showed me how to use the damn thing,” Josephine Cioffi, 81, said yesterday while waiting in the Chinatown RMV.
There’s also the RMV’s image problem.
“The [tellers] are not pleasant,” Steven Knight said, also at the Chinatown RMV yesterday. “If someone gives them a bad attitude the rest of the day they got a bad attitude.”
Kaprielian acknowledges these hurdles.
“It is definitely an image problem and most drivers have been to a branch but it’s just not like that anymore,” she said. “We’re a whole different organization and not your grandfather’s RMV.”