In recent times, people have become more and more accustomed to handling things online. In many cases, they have grown dependent on online services and platforms used regularly or at scheduled times. With such premise, it is not surprising to see that many institutional or governmental services are making a quick transition towards digital services. Although the transitional phase might result in some bumps in the road which is common in times of readjustments, the online world brings a lot of advantages. Less paper waste, readily available information and faster processing times are only some of the upsides.
Adding More Convenience in More Towns
In what can be considered a late coming to the global trend toward digitalization of content and services, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles is in the process of expanding their Rapid Renewal service. Rapid Renewal is the BMVs token phrase to describe their online license and registration services. While this has been online for some time now, motorists and even businesses in Maine can now enjoy greater flexibility to update their mailing addresses, as well as perform a wide variety of other tasks and service in towns and municipalities previously excluded from online services. This includes things like ordering duplicate license documents, order customized license plates, and more things that previously required a visit to a BMV office. These services will still remain available the “regular” way through the Bureau’s branch office locations, although the new online infrastructures make for a more convenient and hassle-free way to handle the aforementioned tasks and operations.
Throughout 2015 and 2016, the BMV added over 30 towns to the list of areas that could begin to use Rapid Renewal. Now, nearly every single municipality in Maine accepts electronic checks, as well as credit card payments online for registration and license renewal. The few exceptions include Portland and Saco, the only two municipalities not accepting electronic checks. There are a handful more that do not accept credit card payments, but the list is rapidly shrinking.
Remaining Restrictions for the Use of Rapid Renewal
The BMV allows registration renewal for the most common vehicle and license types. However, there are certain exclusions with include but are not limited:
- Vehicles over 12,000 in gross vehicle weight
- State vehicles like those used by law enforcement
- Tractors of any weight or for any use
These types of vehicles must still be renewed in person. Additionally, vehicle owners that do qualify for online renewal must have the control number that is usually printed on the top left-hand corner of the registration card. For this reason, it is important to have the current registration card or an image of so that this number can be provided to proceed with online vehicle registration renewal. Rapid Renewal service also requires that you have your insurance information handy as well as the current mileage of the vehicle. It is possible to renew vehicle registration online up to 60 days before its expiration and up to 7 months after.
With the expansion of Rapid Renewal online service to most municipalities and the added option to change your mailing address within the same town among other things, vehicle owners in Main are sure to enjoy the added convenience. One other point of contention though is the lack of communication between town and municipality systems. A prime example of inconvenience is the inability to update your mailing address online if the new address is not within the same town. Because vehicle information is not immediately shared between individual town databases, an in person visit is required if you need to change your address in this scenario. One step at a time though. The BMV is making welcome changes to their online services.