In light of months-long wait times to get access to an in-person appointment at Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles, state officials are encouraging those who are allowed to use a new online license renewal option.
Virginia driver's licenses expire after eight years, and normally must be renewed in person every other time.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, DMV offices across the state are now operating on an appointment-only basis. Multiple outlets, including RADIOIQ, have reported months-long waits to get an in-person appointment in some places.
To help ease that backlog, the DMV announced it is waiving the in-person requirement for most license renewals. That change was first announced back in September, but officials are still trying to get the word out -- to free up appointment space.
“We wanted to be creative to help our customers who are navigating the challenges of the pandemic,” said DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb in a press release issued this week by the Department. “This frees up appointment space for other customers who must visit us.”
The renewal would be for a shorter period of time, two years instead of the normal eight. The DMV is asking people who already have an in person appointment to cancel if they decide to renew online instead.
According to the press release, as many as half a million Virginians could benefit. The DMV is also offering the same service by mail. The department is essentially postponing the required in-person visit for a couple of years.
Those whose licenses have already been expired for more than a year aren’t eligible, nor are those seeking to get a REAL ID. If you’d like to renew for the full eight years you also still have to visit in person.
You can learn more at dmvNOW.com