‘Don’t overwhelm DMV office’

Published 9:28 pm Sunday, October 17, 2021

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Long lines may once again begin at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices with the reopening of its customer service centers and offerings of walk-ins service since the close of doors last spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the closure of centers, DMV was only offering appointment-only slots causing thousands of delays and citizens seeking services miles from their homes.

Charlotte County was one of those offices that began to see customers from all over the Commonwealth seeking DMV services.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic causing DMV offices to be closed or operating by appointment, some citizens were not able to get an appointment until months later. This has caused the DMV Select office in Charlotte Courthouse to be overwhelmed.

Currently, the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office provides DMV Select services as a convenience to taxpayers but is not required to do so, and when most other DMV offices around the state either closed or operating by appointment only, Commissioner of the Revenue Naisha Carter said the office was being bombarded.

“DMV Selects are independently operated as far as their hours,” Carter said. “In June 2020, we went to appointments only due to the heavy traffic. We had too many people coming from all over, creating long lines, and preventing us from doing our office work, which should be the priority,” she said.

Carter said her office was serving DMV customers from as far away as Roanoke, Chesapeake and Charlottesville.

The office was processing more than 100 transactions per day at least three to four days a week, sometimes with Carter working by herself, compared to the normal 50 to 60 transactions.

On Monday, Carter said the DMV office in Charlotte Court House is now open once again for all transactions with the exception of titles. “Titles will still require an appointment, and I need citizens to understand that the duties and requirements of the Commissioner of the Revenue office supersede that of the DMV Select.”

The Virginia DMV returned to walk-in services on Oct. 5. But appointments are not going away, and instead, the DMV is offering a hybrid schedule.

Customers can walk in on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, while appointments will remain in place for Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The DMV is closed on Sundays.

“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,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “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, customers shifted the way they do business with DMV by 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 Oct. 2, customers completed 352,895 transactions across all service channels, as compared to the pre-pandemic weekly average of 309,111 total transactions.