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DMV appointment scam: Hampton Roads residents warn of risk, DMV confirms yellow signs not affiliated

A DMV spokesperson confirms the department knows about the yellow sign scam for money and says, “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — With many Virginians waiting three months or longer for an appointment at the DMV, scammers are now trying to profit off their desperation.

A DMV spokesperson said yellow signs posted around Hampton Roads claiming to help callers get an "appointment within 72 hours" are not affiliated with the DMV. 

Suffolk resident Jean Bonnette said she needed to register a new motorcycle when she saw one of the signs. She called, and quickly realized it was a scam.

"The guy said 'We're a ‘contractor’ with the DMV, and we can get you an appointment within 72 hours,'" Bonnette said. 

Bonnette said the man told her it would cost $500 for an appointment within 72 hours, or $200 for an appointment within a week. She said he also mentioned a referral plan.

“That’s when we called [13News Now] and said, 'This can’t be right, there’s got to be something wrong about this.' It’s fleecing the people," Bonnette said. “It doesn’t make any sense that to retain services through a fully public facility like DMV would cost money like that.”

A DMV spokesperson said the department knows about this scam and others like it. 

“DMV does not charge a fee for appointments," she said. "We recommend customers book their appointment directly through the official Virginia DMV website dmvNOW.com/appt. DMV cannot guarantee appointments made through third-party sites. These are not affiliated with DMV and the agency looks into each report of such activity."

Bonnette saw signs in Suffolk. Others are currently posted in Chesapeake along Battlefield Boulevard.

“I couldn’t believe that someone would take advantage of the situation we have with COVID-19, and the fact you can’t get appointments for so long, to try and make money for themselves. That’s the worst type of scheme," she said.

Two other people contacted 13News Now with concern about the yellow signs.

Bonnette said the DMV is an easy target right now with delays, and she’s worried about less experienced or senior drivers who might be targeted by this scam.

“Even if it hurts one person, that’s one too many," she said. “It’s thoroughly unacceptable that this should be allowed to go on.”

Booking online at DMVNOW.com is the best way to schedule your free appointment in Virginia.

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