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Walk-in service at Virginia's DMV offices restarts Tuesday
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Walk-in service at Virginia's DMV offices restarts Tuesday

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The DMV closed its offices at the start of the pandemic and reopened in May 2020 for appointments only.

Good news, Virginians. You can now wait in line at the Department of Motor Vehicles without scheduling an appointment beforehand.

All 75 DMV offices across the state will reopen Tuesday for walk-in service, which will be available each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Appointment-only service will be offered each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

The DMV closed its offices at the beginning of the pandemic and reopened in May 2020 on an appointment-only basis. During its special session this summer, the General Assembly adopted a budget that required the DMV to reopen for walk-ups within two months.

Sen. Chap Petersen, D-Fairfax City, has called the DMV’s hybrid plan “not satisfactory,” because it isn’t providing walk-in service every day.

But the DMV says its hybrid plan is popular with customers. Seventy-seven percent of Virginians want appointments to continue, the DMV said.

The DMV chose not to offer walk-in and appointment service on the same days because other states that did so were met with long lines and dissatisfied customers, the department said.

Customers can complete more than 50 types of transactions at dmvNOW.com, and others can be completed via the mail. With appointments, online and mail services available, DMV transactions have increased 10% from before the pandemic.

Customers are encouraged — but not required — to wear masks. Lobby chairs will be spaced out to allow distancing. Hours vary by location. The office at 2300 W. Broad St. in Richmond is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

But just because the DMV now schedules appointments doesn’t mean the lines are going away, the DMV said. Customers should expect to wait.

ekolenich@timesdispatch.com

(804) 649-6109

Twitter: @EricKolenich

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Eric Kolenich writes about higher education for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. He joined the newspaper in 2009 and spent a decade as a reporter in the Sports section. (804) 649-6109

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