Virginia DMV partially reopens for walk-in service

Virginia residents can again receive walk-in service at all Department of Motor Vehicle locations on certain days after nearly a year and a half of appointment-only service.

Since May of last year, the DMV required people to receive appointments before stepping into one of their locations. However, beginning this week walk-in services returned for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. This provides two and a half days of walk-in service per week and three full days of appointment service because DMV locations close midday on Saturdays and are closed all day on Sundays.

On walk-in days, people will not be able to schedule an appointment and on appointment days, people will not be able to receive any services without an appointment.

“With more than 50 services available online and others by mail, many customers are taking advantage of the opportunity to conduct business without having to come to the DMV,” DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said in a statement. “But when an in-person visit is needed, customers can now plan ahead for a convenient appointment or walk in on alternating days, allowing Virginians to choose the way they prefer to be served.”

During the pandemic, Virginians used online and mail-based services at a higher rate than ever before, which the DMV says increased weekly transactions by 10%. The DMV will continue to provide more than 50 kinds of transactions online or through mail as it partially reopens.

The DMV initially restricted its services during the COVID-19 pandemic as a safety and health precaution. However, about two months ago, the General Assembly included language in its budget revision that required the DMV to create a plan to bring back walk-in services. Many lawmakers argued that if employees of private entities needed to return to their jobs in full, then so should employees of public entities.

Some supporters of the language argued they had received numerous phone calls from constituents saying they had been unable to book any appointments and urged the legislature to require the DMV to fully reopen. Some opponents of the language argued the DMV should make its own decisions taking into account its own concerns, but a compromise bill, which gave the DMV leeway to develop its own reopening plan successfully passed in the budget.

Lobby chairs will be spaced out to allow for social distancing and the DMV is urging, but not requiring, customers to wear face coverings.

This article was originally posted on Virginia DMV partially reopens for walk-in service

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