Virginia DMV service centers to close as coronavirus spreads

Virginia News

A photo of a Virginia DMV

CHESTERFIELD, Va (WRIC) — Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will be temporarily closed and service requests will be handled online.

Northam shared the closure — which goes into effect from March 18 to April 2 — during a press conference on Tuesday about developments within the state about the coronavirus.

The DMV said they will allow a 60-day extension to driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations expiring now through May 15. After the press conference, our sister-station WRIC in Richmond caught up with people in line outside a Chesterfield DMV on the last day it will be open for the coming weeks.

“I happen to be buying a car today, and if they close I won’t be able to drive this car for three weeks,” Chesterfield resident Ed Wolstenholme said.

Although people who lined up did not follow a recommended six-foot distance between one another, a security guard on-site only let 10 people or less inside the service center at once.

“We’re not exactly social distancing out here terribly well. But, I don’t think I’m worried about this guy right here or that lady,” Wolstenholme said.

Northam said he “can’t guarantee that there will be no backlog” of online service requests following the closure of in-person customer service centers.

For DMV employees, Northam said the state is looking at potential teleworking opportunities while non-essential staff is urged to stay home.

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