Difference Between DMV and RMV

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between DMV and RMV

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To comply with the law, it is necessary to register for a driver's license and car in practically every nation on the planet. In the U.S. and several other nations as well, DMV and RMV are used to handle registration and other matters pertaining to the process and renewal of the driver's license and motor vehicle. The words "DMV" and "RMV" refer to state-level government organizations in the United States that handle car registration and driver's license issuance.  The term "DMV," which stands for "Department of Motor Vehicles" and is used in many states, is the most popular and universally recognized. Registry of Motor Vehicles, or "RMV," is a phrase that is solely used in the state of Massachusetts. Both organizations carry out the same duties and do identical tasks; they offer the same service in several U.S. states.

The government organization in charge of vehicle and driver licensing and registration is the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). DMVs are state-run organizations in the U.S. While the exact list of duties that each state's DMV is responsible for may vary, most DMVs supervise the state's programs for motor voter registration, granting driver's licenses, and handling transfers of vehicle titles. "Registry of Motor Vehicles" or "RMV" is the full name. The processing of driver's licenses and car registration is within the purview of a state-level government body. The Massachusetts Department of Transportation oversees the RMV, previously a state organization (MassDOT). In Massachusetts, MassDOT manages the state's roadways, aviation, public transportation, registration, and licensing systems.


The primary distinction between DMV and RMV is that DMV is a phrase used often worldwide. This government body's main duties include handling issues relating to driving licenses and renewals in the various U.S. states. RMV, on the other hand, is a federal agency that is entirely in charge of the registration of driver's and motor vehicle licences in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is known as DMV. This organization's main duties include managing and administering car registration and the related difficulties even though this institution goes under many names in different U.S. states. It is also governed as a private agency in some areas." Registry of Motor Vehicles" is referred to as RMV. As its name implies, this organization controls the procedures for issuing driver's licenses and registering vehicles. Now that the Massachusetts Department of Transportation runs the agency, it is in charge of carrying out the duties and activities of the RMV.

Difference Between DMV And RMV in Tabular Form

Parameters Of Comparison DMV RMV
Refers to The Department of Motor Vehicles is known as DMV. The Registry of Motor Vehicles is known as RMV.
Areas DMV was operated by a number of states, including Virginia, California, Nevada, and New York, Virginia, California, Nevada, New York, and many more states ran DMV. Only the state of Massachusetts is where it is run.
Various names Other names for DMV include MVD, MDS, MVC, etc., in various states. Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles is another name for RMS.
Functioning In several jurisdictions in the United States, the word "DMV" refers to the agency that handles driver's license and car registration issues. Although it is exclusively used in Massachusetts, RMV is also concerned with the license and car registration processes.
Expedition American states refer to their official transport registration agency as the "DMV." Only the Massachusetts Department of Transportation controls and oversees RMV.

What Is The DMV?

When completing a pre-employment background check, a company or agency may consult the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In some cases, doing these background checks may be necessary for employment. The screening company or employer doing the assessment will contact the DMV to seek the person's driving record to conduct a thorough background check on the subject. This document may also be known as a driver's license check or a motor vehicle report. In addition to details about previous collisions and traffic infractions, a person's driving record will also contain individually identifying information such as name, age, and residence. The kinds of information that can be sought as part of a background check and the timeliness of such inquiries may be restricted by federal and state legislation.

The following states and the District of Columbia have DMV operations: California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and. Anyone who has stayed in a state for more than 30 days is regarded as a long-term resident and is required to get a driver's licence from the DMV or a similar agency in order to drive any type of vehicle. Along with the most recent registration stamps or tags, the motor vehicles also need to have license plates that the organization provides.

Common Duties of the DMV include

The DMV enforces all motor vehicle-related federal and state laws. There is law enforcement personnel in several states. The DMV is positioned in the state government's organizational structure in various ways depending on the state. For instance, the DMV is a part of the local government of the District of Columbia. The DMV is responsible for driver's license and automobile registration in Virginia. The DMV is in charge of driver's license, identity, certification, registration, and ownership of vehicles.

  • Provide written and vision exams for driving licenses.
  • Provide learner's permits or licenses for vehicles, trucks, motorbikes, and watercraft drivers.
  • Publish picture identification for non-drivers
  • Verification of Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Organize road testing
  • Registrations and renewals for vehicles
  • Replace old license plates with new ones
  • The inspection labels
  • Liens and title certificates
  • Ownership transfer or ownership documentation
  • Traffic regulations for motorists, car seat users, bikers, inline skaters, boaters, R.V. drivers, and scooter riders

DMV Instructions

  • To discover your closest location and website URL, just type the name of your U.S. state followed by the letters "DMV" into your search engine's search box.
  • To finish your business with the DMV, you must abide by their policies and provide the required paperwork. This supporting information may be a bill of sale, an insurance certificate, or completed DMV paperwork. The
  • The DMV website can provide helpful advice on the papers you should bring.
  • Anyone temporarily residing in the United States does not require a local driver's license because the DMV recognizes a foreign driver's license. You need a state driver's license only once you move there permanently.
  • Once you pass the local road test to obtain your state's driver's license, the DMV demands that you surrender your international driver's license.
  • Plan by looking up the office hours online. Try to arrive at the DMV when it's less crowded if you only have a short amount of time because the wait may be particularly long at lunchtime.
  • When you arrive at the DMV, visit the information desk to find out what to do next and whether any paperwork has to be filled out. Certain DMV locations are set up with different windows for each sort of business they handle. Therefore, you may shorten your visit by asking questions when you arrive.

What Is The RMV?

By Chapter 25 of the 2009 Acts, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) was created in June 2009. On its website, MassDOT claims to be in charge of managing statewide licensing and registration for transportation, public transportation, aviation, and roads. There are four departments that make up this agency: the Highway Division, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), the Aeronautics Division, and the Rail and Transit Division. The goal of MassDOT is to "provide great customer service and safety to persons traveling in the Commonwealth" and "offer our nation's safest and most dependable transportation system to boost our economy and quality of life," according to the organization's website. To do this, RMV, a part of MassDOT, issues and keeps track of licenses and registrations for vehicles, as well as enforces traffic regulations to increase highway safety. It accomplishes this by ensuring that every driver satisfies minimal competency requirements and revoking driving privileges from those who pose a risk to other motorists.

Daily Operations

RMV is also in charge of maintaining driver's licenses, placards for disabled drivers, registrations for motor vehicles, and vehicle inspections. The RMV is also in charge of collecting and remitting money for registrations, vehicle titles, driver's licenses, specialty plates, civil motor vehicle offenses, inspection stickers, and other various products. The statutory rules regulating RMV are outlined in Chapter 90 of the Massachusetts General Laws, and the regulatory duties for RMV are outlined in Title 540 of the Code of Massachusetts Regulations (CMR). The Registrar of Motor Vehicles is in charge of RMV's daily activities. RMV had about 733 workers working in its headquarters office on Newport Avenue in Quincy, as well as its 30 branch offices and 19 satellite offices spread out over the Commonwealth during the time of our audit. For fiscal years 2015 and 2016, RMV had budgets of roughly $86.5 million and $85.9 million, respectively.

RMV Provides Two Different Placard Types

Permanent and temporary placards are both available from RMV. The two varieties look exactly alike. A medical expert must certify that a person's handicap is expected to endure for a minimum of 2 months and a maximum of 24 months if they are qualified for a temporary placard. The RMV automatically issues and mails a renewal placard 30 days before the expiration date of a current placard. Permanent placards are provided for five years.

Placard applications may be submitted in person at any of the RMV's service locations around the state or by mail through the Boston office's Medical Affairs Department. According to the eligibility information on the mass.gov website for handicap plates and placards,

Requirements For Receiving Disability Plates

You must be a resident of Massachusetts in order to get disability plates, a placard, or a disabled veteran plate. You must have one of the following criteria confirmed by a chiropractor, registered nurse, physician's assistant, osteopathic physician, optometrist (for [legal] blindness only), or podiatrist who is registered and licenced in Massachusetts:

  • Walking 200 steps without stopping to rest is impossible.
  • Cannot walk without the use of a prosthetic device, another person, or other support.
  • Whose forced expiratory volume (FEV) in 1 second, as determined by spirometry, is less than 1 liter and is severely limited by lung disease.
  • Employ portable oxygen.
  • Possess a heart ailment classified as Class III by the American Heart Association.
  • Abide by the American Heart Association's Class IV cardiac classification guidelines. In this situation, the consumer must give up their license.
  • Having functional arthritis is classified as Class III or Class IV by the American College of Rheumatology.
  • Having anatomic arthritis is classified as Stage III or Stage IV by the American College of Rheumatology.
  • Possess a legal blindness declaration (please attach a copy of the certification). This category of the consumer must give up their license.
  • Have lost one or more limbs or have lost the ability to use one or more limbs permanently.

Main Difference Between DMV And RMV in Points

  1. Both DMV and RMV are words used to refer to the agency in the United States that handles driver's licenses and vehicle registration. Although the RMV is solely managed in the state of Massachusetts, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is extremely well known in many states across the United States.
  2. While "RMV" refers to the Registry of the Motor Vehicle, "DMV" stands for the Department of the Motor Vehicle. The functions and duties of the agency covered by these phrases are quite similar.
  3. Distinct states have different titles for the DMV, including "Motor vehicle bureau," "Driver service program," and "Motor vehicle division," among others. The Massachusetts Registry of a Motor Vehicle is RMV's other name.
  4. Only a few states, including Virginia, Nevada, California, New York, Vermont, Texas, and others, run DMV under the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) moniker. On the other hand, Massachusetts is the only state where the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is run.
  5. While the RMV was once regarded as a state institution but is now run by the Massachusetts department of transportation, the DMV's operation may differ from state to state, or it may be located differently in various states depending on the state government structure.
  6. The position of the DMV within the state government varies from state to state; the Massachusetts Department of Transportation currently oversees the RMV, which was previously a state agency (MassDOT).
  7. California, Connecticut, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and the District of Columbia are some of the states where the DMV operates; the RMV only operates in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


The organization that oversaw the registration of vehicles and driving licenses are referred to by the names Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) and Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV). In essence, it can be said that both of these names refer to an organization that manages many states yet has duties that are quite similar to those of one another. The words "DMV" and "RMV" refer to state-level government organizations in the United States that handle car registration and driver's license issuance. Each and every state in the US has a state-level government agency that is in charge of these duties and goes by a different name. The term "DMV," which stands for "Department of Motor Vehicles" and is used in many states, is the most popular and universally recognized. "Registry of Motor Vehicles" is referred to as "RMV."



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"Difference Between DMV and RMV." Diffzy.com, 2024. Fri. 12 Apr. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-dmv-and-rmv-975>.

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