Say ‘C u l8r’ to obsessively checking RMV wait times

MassRMVWaitTime.com sends SMS or e-mail alerts about estimated wait time at the local RMV.
MassRMVWaitTime.com sends SMS or e-mail alerts about estimated wait time at the local RMV.

Waiting for hours at the Registry of Motor Vehicles? That’s so 1997.

For years, the Massachusetts RMV has estimated wait times listed on its website, encouraging people to check before heading to their local branch to resolve title or registration issues.

But folks waiting for that opportune moment — that post-lunch lull or the ebb of congestion right before 5 p.m. — have had to refresh the website again and again throughout the day. The hope is to see that magical “No wait time.”

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Now, a local ad agency has come up with a straightforward fix: Text message alerts.

With the tagline “Take Your Life Back from the RMV,” MassRMVWaitTime.com sends users a text message “when the wait time at your selected registry location is humane,” the website says.

You simply type in your cell phone number and select which branch you plan to visit, as well as whether it’s title or registration services that you plan to avail. Then, choose the wait time you find acceptable: 30 minutes? Maybe, 5 minutes?

When the wait dies down, the message arrives: “It’s a good time to get your RMV biz done.” (The alerts can also be sent by e-mail.)

When the RMV wait time dies down, the text message appears.  [[SLIDE]]

MassRMVWaitTime.com

The website was created this summer by the New Bedford-based advertising agency, Pidalia. In their words, the idea was inspired by agency CEO Justin Brodeur, who paid a visit to the New Bedford branch.

“With laptop and wifi device in hand, Justin was prepared to spend that fateful Monday morning working and waiting at the RMV. There was a problem – the RMV was so full there wasn’t even a place for Justin to sit. Frustrated, Justin left the RMV and returned to his office. Instead of dwelling on the downside of morning, Justin programmed a script that pinged the RMV to see if the wait times dropped below 20 minutes. Later that afternoon, the magical words ‘GO TO THE RMV’ blinked across Justin’s MacBook screen. The pidalia team talked about Justin’s experience and decided to build a web app from his little script.”

The website also lists the wait times at all the state’s branches on one page, which is helpful if you live between, say, Boston and Braintree, and have multiple RMV options.