FILE - DMV

(The Center Square) – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will start offering walk-in services three days per week starting Oct. 5 after not offering those services since May of last year

For nearly a year and a half, the DMV has only offered services with an appointment. After the change goes into effect, people can receive walk-in services on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Appointments will not be offered on these days, but will be needed on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. DMV locations are closed on Sundays and close midday on Saturdays.

“We are pleased to continue offering appointments in addition to walk-in service, since our customers greatly appreciate the convenience and efficiency appointments afford,” DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said in a statement. “Those who can plan ahead should schedule an appointment for service but, if in-person assistance is needed urgently, walk-in service will now be available two and a half days per week.”

More than a month ago, the General Assembly passed legislation to revise the state budget, which included language that required the DMV to create a plan to bring back walk-in services. Some lawmakers said they had received phone calls from constituents who had been unable to book appointments for services. Supporters of the provision argued that government services should provide their full services after the government ended restrictions on the private sector.

According to a DMV news release, 77% of customers approved of the appointment system and wanted it to continue. It said its surveys showed that including both walk-in services and appointments services on the same days led to long lines and dissatisfied customers, which is why they will be alternating days. The news release states that this offers flexibility for customers and the agency.

During the pandemic, customers have used online and mail-based services more frequently, which has increased weekly transactions by 10%, according to the DMV. The DMV will continue to offer several services online.

The DMV locations will continue to enforce social distancing. Face masks will not be required, but the department strongly recommends them.

All 75 of the DMV’s customer service centers will be subject to these changes.

Staff Reporter

Tyler Arnold reports on Virginia and West Virginia for The Center Square. He previously worked for the Cause of Action Institute and has been published in Business Insider, USA TODAY College, National Review Online and the Washington Free Beacon.