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Rhode Island Sending 22,000 Driver Violation Notices To RMV

In a widening scandal that engulfed the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles and spread to New Hampshire, Rhode Island has notified Bay State transportation officials that it is preparing to send to the registry 22,500 previously unseen notices concerning driving violations by Massachusetts drivers.

The unreported violations that occurred in Rhode Island date back to 2017 and were never previously shared with the Massachusetts RMV, according the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The notices are expected to include a range of violations, including some that would trigger an automatic license suspension.

The disclosure made Thursday further highlights gaps in the inter-state information sharing process that is supposed to keep licensing authorities aware of driving violations that occur anywhere in the country.

In June, a Massachusetts driver whose license should have been suspended based on a violation in Connecticut caused a crash in New Hampshire that killed seven motorcyclists. The RMV subsequently disclosed that thousands of out-of-state violation notices had gone unreviewed and were being kept in boxes, and New Hampshire this summer revealed that it had stopped sending paper notices to other states for three years.

MassDOT said it hopes to set up a secure file transfer process for Rhode Island to transmit the notices, and it anticipated that at least some of the most serious violations would have already been processed by Massachusetts based on information entered by Rhode Island into the National Driver Registry.

U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton announced this week that he had filed legislation in Congress to provide money to states to help digitize their violations and notice sharing systems.

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