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Amid push from elected officials to reopen, DMV introduces expanded online services
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Amid push from elected officials to reopen, DMV introduces expanded online services

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The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles announced on Friday that they’ll expand their online access by allowing customers the ability to enroll in a payment plan contract online.

According to DMV officials, the online option will enable more than 150 customers per week to skip the DMV lines, which, in turn would increase the availability of in-person appointments.

Customers who owe fees as a result of not having car insurance are able to enter a payment plan with the DMV to pay them over time while still being able to drive, officials said in a news release. If a driver is cited without insurance, their license is suspended until they comply with DMV protocols, which includes a reinstatement fee.

According to the DMV website, the uninsured motor vehicle fee is $500 in addition to standard registration fees. When cited for not having insurance, drivers must pay a $600 noncompliance fee and $145 reinstatement fee in order to reinstate suspended driver’s license. Both sets of fees are eligible for the payment plan

Since the General Assembly established payment plans in 2017, more than 53,000 customers have successfully completed contracts with the DMV.

DMV’s announcement that it will continue to migrate services online comes amid a push from some state lawmakers to force the agency to resume in-person operation.

Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, is behind the push on the state Senate side where language was added to the state budget requiring the DMV to reopen its offices for walk-in service within 30 days of the budget becoming law. The requirement would have to clear the House of Delegates and Gov. Ralph Northam to take effect.

Petersen’s proposed edict gained support among Senate Republicans who cited constituents’ concerns about the difficulties of using the DMV since the COVID-19 pandemic forced the agency to require appointments prior to service 17 months ago.

cfreeman@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6563

Staff writer Michael Martz contributed to this report.

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