Talking to the teens in my life, I've noticed that interest in getting a driver's license has waned a bit in the past decade or more.

I remember turning 16 was nothing. It was the coveted 16-and-a-half years old that meant true independence. That was the end zone. You'd count down the days, make an appointment and walk out on your half-birthday with your driver's license.

Even though Olivia Rodrigo sang her first No. 1 song about that day a couple of years ago, (we found out on Pop Crush Nights it took her four attempts to get it), teens still aren't flocking to get their licenses the way they used to.

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This must mean it's easier than ever to get an appointment at the Massachusetts RMV, right?


Two weeks ago, my son celebrated his 16th birthday. Unlike many of his peers, he's dying to get his permit because he wants his license as soon as humanly possible.

He signed up for and completed the classroom portion of his driver's ed course with the great people from Martin's Driving School in New Bedford months ahead of his 16th birthday. He was ready to rock and roll.

The night of his birthday, we logged onto the RMV website to try to get an appointment.  I was on vacation, so I told him that I was willing to drive anywhere to get him his permit right away.

The website says that appointments might be as far out as two weeks. However, after logging onto the site each day for the past two weeks, we haven't even been able to get far enough to book an appointment.

According to the Mass RMV's website, there isn't an appointment to get a permit at any of the RMV branches anywhere across the state. This has been the same story every day for weeks. We've been completely shut out for weeks from Danvers to Fall River to Worcester.

No options whatsoever.

After discussing this on Michael and Maddie this morning, a number of callers offered some information about why this was happening and some options to work around it.

Apparently, the recent rush is due to a new law in Massachusetts called “The Work and Family Mobility Act." The law allows Massachusetts residents to apply for a driver's license "regardless of their immigration status."

The law went into effect on July 1 and it has caused a logjam since.

One caller told me that she was able to get an appointment by clicking on the RMV locations listed (even if the site said there was 0% availability).  She said the following morning she received correspondence from the RMV confirming an appointment.

Another caller suggested a visit to AAA. Members are allowed to conduct most RMV business at Massachusetts locations.

Of course, parents aren't always eager to see their kids get behind the wheel. One mother admitted she'd be lying if she said there wasn't some level of relief that her 16-year-old son couldn't get an appointment.

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