RMV birthday greetings make a comeback

The RMV is reviving its practice of sending license renewal reminders to motorists on their birthdays.
The RMV is reviving its practice of sending license renewal reminders to motorists on their birthdays.
Massachusetts Department of Transportation

The Registry of Motor Vehicles wants to make everyone’s birthdays a bit more special.

Most Massachusetts residents will remember the postcards that used to arrive in the mail from the RMV: “Happy birthday!” the card read. “It’s time to renew your license!”

The mailers were helpful, but expensive. They cost almost $1 million per year, and in 2008, they were eliminated because of budget cuts.

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Now, the postcards are coming back. They’ll start appearing in mailboxes by the end of the year, thanks to a partnership with an advertising company that is paying for all the printing and mailing costs, in exchange for the right to place advertisements on the mailers.

Just as in the past, the mailers will not include any personal information or the driver’s birth date, lest the postcard fall into the wrong hands. It will also remind customers that, in most cases, they can renew their license online and have it delivered to their home.

“It’s no money at all for us, and there’s no extra cost to the customer,” Registrar Rachel Kaprielian said, “other than the aggravation of getting an advertisement in the mail.”

Oh yeah, and the $50 it costs to renew your license. Happy birthday, indeed!