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RMV opens new doors



0929RMV362
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A customer awaits his turn while an RMV agent assists a woman at the counter as the new Registry at the former Casaubon Senior Center on Larochelle Way officially opened Monday. Ryan Grannan-Doll. (click for larger version)
September 28, 2010
SOUTHBRIDGE — So far, motorists appear satisfied with the new Registry of Motor Vehicles branch on Larochelle Way, which opened Monday.

"Much better location," said Linda Gagne, of Oxford, after she walked out of the new office at the former Senior Center.

After more than a year of controversy, the new branch officially opened at 9 a.m. Monday. It replaces the former Charlton branch off the Massachusetts Turnpike, which closed Friday, Sept. 24.

The new branch offers license and registration services, as well as title transactions. All exams will be done there. Road tests will also be done at the Southbridge branch. They were previously done in Sturbridge.

"Opening went very smoothly. Customer service reps report it was busy," said RMV Spokesman Ann Dufresne.

The Southbridge office is intended to end the long running debate over the RMV last year, citing state budget woes, closed the former Southbridge branch located at the Big Bunny plaza on Main Street. A month later, the RMV opened the Charlton office, but the move drew many complaints of inadequate parking for handicapped people and seniors as well as others who said the Route 20 access was unsafe. Since then, local officials and legislators have negotiated a new branch with the RMV. Despite the complaints Registrar Rachel Kaprielian insisted the Charlton site was safe for pedestrians.

For more on this story, please see tomorrow's Southbridge Evening News.

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