Beginning October 5, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customers may choose to schedule an appointment for service or opt for walk-in service on alternating days at all 75 customer service centers (CSCs).
Appointments for service will be offered only on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and walk-in service will be offered only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Hours vary by office location.
“We are pleased to continue offering appointments in addition to walk-in service, since our customers greatly appreciate the convenience and efficiency appointments afford,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Those who can plan ahead should schedule an appointment for service but, if in-person assistance is needed urgently, walk-in service will now be available two and a half days per week.”
In accordance with Executive Directive Seven (as amended) to address the pandemic, the DMV began operating by appointment only as it reopened offices in May 2020 after a temporary closure due to the rapid spread of COVID-19. Operating by appointment has proven to be overwhelmingly popular with customers, 77% of whom said in a survey that they wished to see appointments continue. During the pandemic, customers shifted the way they do business with DMV in that more customers are taking advantage of online and mail-based services. DMV is conducting over 10% more transactions per week cumulatively through all service channels than before the pandemic. For the week ending September 4, 2021, customers completed 359,452 transactions across all service channels, as compared to the pre-pandemic weekly average of 309,111 total transactions.
At the direction of the General Assembly, the DMV will be integrating walk-in service back into its operations in addition to appointments. DMV researched other state motor vehicle agencies’ best practices through the pandemic and found that those offering walk-in and appointment service simultaneously were met with long lines and confused and dissatisfied customers. Based on research, surveys, experience, and the ongoing pandemic, DMV developed a hybrid service model on alternating days which will offer flexibility for customers and the agency.
Customers who have scheduled an appointment and instead decide to walk in for service should cancel that appointment to make it available for other customers. Walk-in service will be provided on a first-come, first-served basis based on the type of transaction; customers should anticipate wait times. For the health and safety of customers and employees, lobby chairs will be spaced and all customers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
Preparation is key to a successful in-person visit to a CSC, whether it is scheduled or not. Resources for preparation can be found at dmvNOW.com.
The DMV also continues to offer many service alternatives outside of the service centers. More than 50 transactions are available at dmvNOW.com and many can be conducted by mail. Customers may obtain vehicle-related services at DMV Select partner offices, most of which are operating by appointment only. Appointments can be scheduled for nearly every DMV service with the agency’s mobile DMV Connect teams. Customers needing a title after purchasing a vehicle from an individual (not a dealer) may drop off their applications and supporting documents at CSCs. Staff will process the work and contact customers to pick up the title within five days. During the pandemic, customers changed the way they do business with DMV; as a result, most transactions conducted are by service methods other than in person at a center.