Virginians can now renew their driver’s licenses and identification cards for two years without an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles, freeing up space for others to visit a branch.
Two-year renewals can now be done at dmvNOW.com or by mail, the DMV said in a news release Thursday.
The change is one of the DMV’s latest attempts to adjust service during the pandemic.
“This service option postpones the requirement for eligible customers, regardless of age, to visit a DMV customer service center until it is time for their next renewal,” the release said. “When the two-year credential expires, customers will then visit DMV to renew and obtain a five-year or eight-year credential and have a new photograph taken.”
The DMV is letting eligible residents know about the program through their chosen contact methods, and said that more than 50,000 customers have used the service since Sept. 15.
If customers plan to use the online or mailing options, the DMV suggests that they cancel appointments to make it easier for people who need in-person service to get into a branch.
“By providing this new online and mail-in two-year option, we are giving as many as approximately a half million Virginians over the next 14 months the ability to skip a trip to the DMV,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb in the release. “This frees up appointment space for other customers who must visit us in order to conduct their business.”
The release said DMV-issued credentials have been extended under Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Directive 7, and credentials of customers who have received extensions are considered valid as long as the extension has not expired.
Not everyone is eligible for the two-year renewal option, including those who have a limited-duration license issued for one year or for a period of authorized stay in the U.S., those who are required to register in accordance with Va. Code Chapter 9 or Title 9.1, and those with a school bus endorsement.
People in these categories have to renew in person due to statutory requirements, the release said.
Those who want to renew credentials for five or eight years or get a REAL ID have to make an appointment at dmvNOW.com/appt for in-person service.