RMV Announces 60-Day Extension For Licenses, Permits; Also Extending Expiration Dates For Vehicle Inspection Stickers

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) announces it will be implementing a 60-day extension to Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) expired or expiring in March and April, and that the Service Centers in Milford and Wilmington are reopened to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions. These initiatives recognize the importance of commercial vehicle drivers to the supply chain during the State of Emergency declaration, and will continue to prioritize reducing customer volumes in physical locations.

All commercial licenses or permits with an expiration date between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have the 60-day extension applied to that customer’s credential. The RMV implemented a similar extension for residents with Class D, Class M and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits on March 16th with the exception of customers whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit. Customers eligible for these extensions should wait to visit an RMV Service Center to renew until after the State of Emergency has concluded.

In addition, in an effort to help customers maintain proper social distancing, as March 20, the annual motor vehicle safety and emissions inspection expiration dates are being extended as follows:

  • All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on March 31, 2020 (designated by a number 3 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by May 31, 2020.
  • All non-commercial vehicle inspection stickers that expire on April 30, 2020 (designated by a number 4 on the inspection sticker) must be inspected by June 30, 2020.
  • Non-commercial vehicles that are issued a failed inspection sticker (indicated by a sticker with a red or black letter ‘R’) that is due to expire in the month of March, 2020, must be re-inspected by May 31, and non-commercial vehicles issued a failed inspection sticker due to expire in the month of April, 2020, must be re-inspected by June 30. Additionally, the one free re-test for these vehicles is also extended to May 31 or June 30 provided the re-test is performed at the same inspection station that performed the initial inspection.
    • Regardless of the date of inspection, vehicles issued a failed inspection sticker due to a safety defect (indicated by a sticker with a red letter ‘R’) shall not be operated until appropriate repairs have been completed.

• All motorcycle inspection stickers originally set to expire on May 31 must be inspected by June 30.

The RMV is also extending the time during which newly registered vehicles must be inspected, which is typically within 7 days of the date of registration.

  • Any newly-registered non-commercial vehicle purchased between March 1, 2020 and March 31, 2020 must be inspected by May 31.
  • Any newly-registered non-commercial vehicle purchased between April 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 must be inspected by June 30.

In addition, during the declared emergency period, the RMV is waiving the requirement of 540 Code Mass. Regs. § 4.08(2), which requires that inspection stations must remain open and available for inspections for a minimum of six hours per day, five days per week. Inspection stations are excused from compliance with this provision during the length of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Finally, inspector and station licensing expirations are not being extended at this time because current resources are able to meet the application demand. However, inspectors and station owners are strongly encouraged to submit applications on-line at www.Mass.gov/RMV.

Eight (8) RMV Service Center locations remain open to serve the general public, but the RMV requests that customers who do not have immediate needs for required in-person services delay their visits. These RMV facilities prioritize regional availability, accessibility and facility size and capacity and will prioritize only transactions that cannot be completed online, over the phone or by mail.

To assist with “social-distancing” and reducing facility volume, customers are asked to not bring multiple individuals with them and a ticketing protocol will continue to be in place to mitigate customer queuing. Customers visiting the open centers will be issued tickets on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to those customers with transactions that cannot be completed online. Tickets will designate for customers whether they will be served in the morning (9 a.m. until 12 p.m.) timeframe or the (12 p.m. until 5 p.m.) timeframe in groupings. Limited tickets will be issued based on the Service Center capacity and number of customers that can be served realistically through the course of the day. Any remaining customers will be asked to leave and return another day. Meanwhile, AAA locations will continue to offer select RMV services to AAA members and road tests remain suspended through April 6th. CDL road tests continue to be administered.

These steps are being taken following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9th to complement the work that has been underway for weeks across state government to keep residents safe and healthy.

“We are continuing to identify ways in which we can provide support and assistance to Registry customers and members of the business community to limit their need for in-person visits to RMV Service Centers,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack.  “The new extensions and protocols that we are implementing for Commercial Driver’s Licenses and Learner’s Permits and motor vehicle inspections will help protect the safety and well-being of the members of the general public during these challenging times.”

“The RMV continues to strike a balance between continuing with business transactions while protecting the health and safety of the public,” said Acting Registrar Jamey Tesler.  “Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, in-person transactions will be conducted in keeping with guidelines from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Response Command Center.”

The following eight RMV Service Centers remain open for service to the general public until further notice: Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Pittsfield, Plymouth, Springfield and Worcester. Hearings will be conducted at Boston/Haymarket, Brockton, Fall River, Lawrence, Springfield and Worcester. Hearings at the Pittsfield RMV occur weekly on Wednesdays and are scheduled to resume on March 25th . No hearings will be conducted in Plymouth. Again, the RMV Service Center’s in Milford and Wilmington will be open to exclusively perform commercial license/permit transactions – any non-CDL/CLP customers will be asked to report to a different location.

Class D and M road tests for permit holders remain postponed at all locations through Monday, April 6th while CDL road tests continue to be administered. Class D and M road tests will resume only after cleaning, personal protective equipment and social distancing protocols have been put in place to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission for permit holders, road test examiners and others who accompany permit holders for their tests.  Because the Governor’s Executive Order provides that Learner’s Permits dated between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020 will continue to have an active status until sixty days after the printed expiration date.

The RMV has taken other steps to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  In keeping with recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), the RMV has adopted enhanced cleaning practices for facilities, purchased additional contactless hand sanitizer dispensing stations, issued anti-viral disinfectant wipes and individual size hand sanitizers to certain employees, and expanded areas to be disinfected.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, the RMV has continued with safety-critical “back office” functions, even as some employees of the Registry work from home or have been re-deployed.

More than 40 Registry transactions may be conducted online at www.mass.gov/rmv. The Baker-Polito Administration will continue to update the public on COVID-19 response and precautionary measures: www.mass.gov/coronavirus.com.

SBA Offering Low-Interest Federal Disaster Loans For Working Capital To MA Small Businesses Impacted By COVID-19

The Baker-Polito Administration announced March 18th that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Massachusetts small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available following a request received from Governor Charlie Baker on March 17.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Massachusetts; and the contiguous counties in neighboring states.

Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years, and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.

On March 16, the Baker-Polito Administration announced a $10 Million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, and the administration remains in ongoing discussions across state government and with federal partners to determine what resources can be made available to small businesses and non-profits as they contend with the negative effects of this public health emergency. 

The administration will continue to update the public on further developments and individuals are encouraged to consult both the Department of Public Health and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites for the most up to date information.

The latest information and guidance regarding COVID-19 is always available at mass.gov/COVID19.

Resources For The Business Community: COVID-19

The City of Quincy announces the following resources for the business community impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak:
1.     MEMA’s Emergency Operations Center’s Private Sector Hotline – The Hotline will be staffed Monday – Friday from 8am to 4pm. The hotline is 508-820-2094.
2.      Small Business Recovery Loan Fund – MA Growth Capital Corporation
  • $10 million Small Business Recovery Loan Fund, administered by Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation (MGCC), to provide emergency capital up to $75,000 to Massachusetts-based businesses impacted by COVID-19 with under 50 full- and part-time employees, including nonprofits.
  • This fund is being offered with no payments due for the first 6 months, then 30-months of principal and interest payments and no prepayment penalties (annual interest rate of 3.0%).
  • Click here for MCC Loan Fund
  • EIDL offers Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%.
  • Businesses can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here:
  • Click here for SBA application.
4. The Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development offers resources for businesses related to employee benefits and will post additional guidance as it becomes available.
Programs include:
  • Updated information regarding unemployment resources can be found here.
  • The WorkShare Program, a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn – read more about the WorkShare Program here.
  • The Rapid Response Program, which works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry; read more about how the Rapid Response Team can help businesses here.
Additional Important Information:
Governor Baker’s Emergency Order (3/15) limiting gatherings to 25 individuals and prohibiting on-premises consumption of food or drink at bars and restaurants, beginning on March 17 and effective until April 6.
  • Read more about the Emergency Order here:
  • The Order does not apply to normal operations at airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, polling locations, grocery or retail stores, pharmacies, or other spaces where 25 or more persons may be in transit.
  • The Order does not apply to typical office environments, government buildings, or factories where large numbers of people are present, but it is unusual for them to be within arm’s length of one another.
Please do not hesitate to call with any questions or concerns. Please email us if you would like to be added to this email chain.
Sincerely,
Maureen Geary
Director of Business Relations
617-376-1266

Mass Bay Credit Union Responds To Financial Impact Facing Local Families

Like all companies, Mass Bay Credit Union has been proactively taking necessary steps to ensure the well-being of their Members and employees.  Understanding the financial impact to local families, today they allocated one million dollars in interest free loans to help people meet the unexpected expenses or temporary loss of income they are being faced with.  They are offering 1,000 one-year personal loans of up to $1,000 at no interest.

President and CEO Theresa Dorilas said:

“We understand and support all the efforts local governments, businesses and associations are taking to protect the people in our community.  However, we also realize that at an individual family level, figuring out how to handle school closings, and/or being home from work, presents a very real financial challenge.”

Like all credit unions, Mass Bay Credit Union is owned by the Members who choose to do business there.  Membership eligibility, such as living in Middlesex, Norfolk or Suffolk counties or a dozen other towns, is located on massbaycu.org.  Opening a savings account establishes Membership and opens availability to other products like this loan offering.  Mass Bay Credit Union also added that standard lending criteria will apply.

In addition to its South Boston Headquarters, Mass Bay Credit Union has branches in Everett, Quincy and the Seaport.  Over 19,000 people choose Mass Bay Credit Union for great rates, low fees and personal service.  In addition to offering a full array of deposit and lending products, Mass Bay Credit Union Members have access to over 55,000 surcharge free ATMs and 6,800 credit union branches.  In business since 1936, Mass Bay Credit Union has assets in excess of $265 million.

Tokenfire Restaurant Opens In Quincy Center

Tokenfire Restaurant will open at 35 Washington St., Quincy Center this week. Photo Courtesy Kerry Byrne

By KERRY BYRNE

Tokenfire is slated to open this week in the heart of Quincy Center, the latest in a long list of recent restaurant openings that have dramatically reshaped the dining scene in this historic, bustling and rapidly gentrifying urban enclave.

The eatery plans to open to the public on Friday, Dec. 27 at 35 Washington St., steps from Quincy Center T on the MBTA Red Line and commuter rail and within a block of many of the neighborhood’s most notable restaurants, including The Townshend, Idle Hour, Fuji at WOC and Alba Prime Steak + Seafood.

The intimate gastropub will feature globally inspired fare amid a warm inviting Irish pub atmosphere.

“We want to create a community that celebrates Irish roots but offers a global take on modern Irish cuisine,” said principal owner Breda O’Connor.

The vision for Tokenfire was inspired by Noel O’Connor, Breda’s nephew, who worked at many of Boston’s most notable dining destinations, including Kingfish Hall and Boston Rocks in Faneuil Hall.

Noel was a first-generation Irish-American who grew up in Milton with parents who hailed from County Kerry and County Mayo. He died suddenly and tragically in January 2016, hours after finishing a bar shift at neighboring eatery the Townshend, and a year after being inspired to open Tokenfire.

“I’m excited to bring my nephew Noel’s vision to life,” said Breda O’Connor. “Many the day I heard Noel say I want to open a bar and a restaurant and I want to call it Tokenfire. This is a deeply personal project for me and for Noel’s friends and family.”

The Tokenfire kitchen will be managed by executive chef Nicola Battistacci. He’s a native of Italy who worked at upscale eateries in his homeland before moving to South America and then to Boston, where his resume includes stays at South End hotspot Cinquecento and Corfinio Wood Fired Grill in Easton.

The opening menu will pair bright Mediterranean and South American flavors with heartier traditional Irish, American and pan-European classics. Among the highlights of the global menu:

  • Rainbow cauliflower with Calabrian chili oil
  • Local mussels with ‘nduja sauce, red onions and toasted bread
  • Spanish octopus with crispy potatoes, smoked paprika and chipotle aioli
  • Traditional Irish Shepherd’s pie with braised lamb and mashed potatoes
  • Faroe Island salmon with farro salad, roasted butternut squash, kale and dried cranberries

The menu will also include a creative variety of flatbreads, burgers and salads.

The décor reflects Tokenfire’s rustic-and-contemporary vibe. The eatery features images of the Irish countryside alongside clean, contemporary white-tiled walls.

Guests will dine amid comfort lighting and soothing music, surrounded by earth-tone knotty pine tables from a 400-year-old tree, crafted by Irish-American artist Vincent Crotty.

Twenty draft beers await, ranging from Irish-brewed classics, such as Guinness and Smithwick’s, to the latest local craft beers. Tokenfire will also offer fine wines, cocktails and spirits.

Granite shelving, reflecting Quincy’s history as one of America’s great quarrying communities, sit beneath the large store-front windows that overlook the Richardsonian National Historic Landmark Thomas Crane Public Library and its verdant Olmstead-designed lawn right across the street.

Tokenfire will seat 55 in its dining room and 20 at the bar. It will be open each day from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m., pending final occupancy approval from the City of Quincy.

Kevin Wool Manager South Street Gallery

Jack Hobbs, president and founder of South Street Gallery, announces Kevin Wool of Quincy has been named South Street Gallery’s new manager.

Kevin Wool

“Kevin is the perfect fit for this role,” said Hobbs, who added, “He knows the framing side of the business inside out.  In his previous work, he visited literally every art gallery in New England. He knows the artists, he knows the owners, he knows current and emerging art trends, and he has met and worked with hundreds of artists. We couldn’t be more pleased to have him join our Gallery!”

Wool is working with Hobbs to further the Gallery’s mission of discovering and promoting new artists, while continuing to expand the Gallery’s framing business.

He spent a dozen years in the picture framing industry, as a representative for several framing and moulding companies which serve frame shop and gallery owners throughout the region. This gave him in-the-field experience working directly with hundreds of gallery owners and picture framing shops, consulting on their framing supply needs. His work resume includes Décor Moulding & Supply, Studio Moulding and Don Mar Moulding. He also represented the companies at various trade shows and also presented product lines at the New England Professional Picture Framers Association yearly convention.

Wool also spent 14 years with Boston Photo Imaging, working with clients in the healthcare, higher education, advertising and financial industries.

“South Street Gallery is a great place to be,” Wool said, adding, “I enjoy working with artists and individuals who need framing assistance, so that their work can be showcased in the best possible light. We are planning many exciting new innovations at the Gallery and we invite everyone to come by, say hello, and see what we’re doing.”

The South Boston native is an avid runner in his leisure time; he has run several marathons, several half marathons and a number of shorter races including 10K and 5K. He is married and the father of a daughter, who just became a registered nurse.