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Virginia DMV offers more services online to alleviate people waiting for appointments

Officials with the Department of Motor Vehicles are making it easier for people to get services done. They are now offering more than 40 transactions online.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — People are still waiting months for an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles. DMV officials hope more appointments open up as they add more than four dozen online services.

Customer Jim Willenbrink said, “It’s a little frustrating at first, but if you tenacious with the process and keep on checking back I find it actually more efficient to do the appointment system than do the old way. You come here and you wait practically half a day or all day.”

DMV officials want to make it even easier for its customers. They continue adding more services online, so people don’t have to book an appointment and show up in person. 

Willenbrink says that’s the way to go!

He said, “You don’t have to take off from work potentially. Just a little more seamless, obviously.”

One new online option is renewing your driver’s license or ID card for two years. If you renewed online or in the mail the last time, you can do the same thing again. Before the pandemic, you couldn’t renew back to back online, DMV officials required people to go in person to get their eyes checked and get a new photo.

Customers ineligible for this new two-year renewal option include those who:

  • Hold a limited duration license issued for one year or for a period of authorized stay in the U.S.
  • Are required to register in accordance with Va. Code Chapter 9 or Title 9.1
  • Have a school bus endorsement

These customers are required to renew in person due to statutory requirements.

A driver’s license renewal costs $4 per year, therefore, a two-year license will cost $8. A typical in-person license renewal, which is valid for either five or eight years, costs $20 or $32, respectively. An identification card (ID) renewal costs $2 per year which means if you are receiving an ID that is valid for two years from the expiration date on your prior ID, it costs $4. An eight-year ID renewal typically costs $16.

“This new 2-year option will help about 500,000 Virginians through 2021. They can skip a trip to the DMV, and we are excited because it will allow other customers who need to visit in-person those appointment opportunities,” explained DMV spokeswoman Jessica Cowardin.

The DMV is also offering commercial driver’s license (CDL) renewals online. The new option, instituted due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, gives eligible commercial drivers the opportunity to renew their credentials online at dmvNOW.com.

CDL holders previously were required to visit DMV in person each time to renew their credentials. Detailed information on CDL online renewal eligibility can be found here: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#renewcdl.asp. Customers who are not eligible to renew their CDL online will need to schedule an appointment at dmvNOW.com/appt to renew in person.

Cowardin said more than 40 transactions can be done online, but if you want to go in person, appointments are available 90 days out.

She said, “We have lots of appointment opportunities at our customer service centers, our connect visits. We have new locations popping up almost every week.”

If you want to renew your driver’s license or ID card for five or eight years or just want a real ID, Cowardin says you need to make an appointment in person.