Gov. Charlie Baker hails new Registry of Motor Vehicle services at Pioneer Valley AAA office in Hadley

Last modified: Saturday, May 30, 2015

HADLEY — Standing in front of the new counter that offers Registry of Motor Vehicles services at the Pioneer Valley AAA office in Hadley, Gov. Charlie Baker emphasized Thursday that continued partnerships between state offices and private businesses benefit Massachusetts residents.

“I’m a big believer that we should think of making service more available at the retail level,” Baker said during his afternoon visit.

With an aim to streamline operations, improve customer satisfaction and ensure registry services are available within a reasonable driving distance, Baker saw firsthand how the registry and AAA are partnering in the office at the Campus Shopping Plaza on Route 9. The new registry services began there May 11. The AAA office in Hadley is the 12th in the state to offer registry services.

Baker’s visit included a formal dedication, meeting members of the staff and Hadley town officials — including receiving a package of Hadley asparagus from Selectman Gerry Devine — and using large scissors to cut a red ribbon.

“Today marks the doubling of our efforts to expand this public-private partnership with AAA to offer RMV services outside of the branches and progress toward saving individuals valuable time,” Baker said.

Baker said his expectation is that these improvements will increase respect for the registry and encourage innovation in providing more options to residents, including more weekend and night hours for working people.

These continued efforts contrast to what occurred six years ago when Registry of Motor Vehicles closed its office in Hadley, and customers experienced longer wait times for services when visiting the only remaining Hampshire County registry in Easthampton.

Erin Deveney, the state’s interim registrar of motor vehicles, said the charge she has been given by Baker is to make the 30 registry offices, and the additional dozen registry sites housed in AAA offices, better, smarter and more customer-oriented.

The idea of having registry services in AAA offices started as a pilot program under former Gov. Deval Patrick. Deveney said she expects the Baker-Polito administration to increase the trend, which began with three locations in 2009 and has doubled since 2014.

For Hampshire County residents, options for registry services have been to go to Easthampton or travel to Chicopee or Greenfield. The state registry worked with AAA to find the locations that are underserved to reduce the distance that residents would have to travel.

“We recognize the way the registry offices are currently laid out can cause people to travel great distances,” Deveney said.

The services at the AAA offices are limited to driver’s license renewals, including photographs, identification cards and vehicle registrations, she said.

And while only open to AAA members, Deveney said this partnership will benefit non-members by reducing the need for some people to go to a traditional registry.

Deveney said how long people wait in line remains a concern. “We recognize that having to wait at all is a disservice to customers,” Deveney said.

With the hope of reducing the wait time, Deveney said she also wants ensure that services are provided in a professional, courteous manner.

The other Pioneer Valley AAA office that includes registry services is in West Springfield. The arrangement there began in 2011, and that office now handles 1,800 registry transactions a month. Statewide, Deveney said over 12,000 monthly transactions are taking place at AAA offices.

Chris Mensing, president of AAA Pioneer Valley, said the services seem to be appreciated in Hampden County. “It has been a well-received benefit members have enjoyed there,” he added.

He anticipates a similar reception in Hampshire County, where 50,000 members reside, representing about half of all households.

Sandra Marsian, vice president of membership, auto travel and marketing at AAA Pioneer Valley, said an area of the Hadley office was reconfigured to include a space for customers to wait for registry services. The office also added two full-time and two part-time staff members, who received registry training and will also perform duties for AAA.

The registry service in Hadley is available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Thursdays when it remains open until 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at


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