CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) –Almost a dozen DMV’s are now back open for business in Virginia.
Today doors opened at nine locations across the state including an office in Chesterfield County.
The biggest difference for customers is that they can no longer walk into the DMV, they have to make an appointment online first.
As of Monday morning, the DMV confirms with 8News that more than 50,000 people have signed up for an appointment and all nine offices are booked for the month of May.
DMV Commissioner Rick Holcomb said the reality is because of COVID-19, we are all getting used to a new world and new norms.
Gone are the days of sitting shoulder to shoulder for hours in a packed DMV lobby, now offices are isolated and limiting customers.
“Welcome to the new world,” Holcomb said. “We think everyone will feel a lot safer and comfortable and they’ll be in and out of the DMV a lot quicker.”
Holcomb said customers can expect limited services and 10-minute appointments as the department works to equip all offices with a safe working environment. He said one reason for only opening nine offices is the high demand for plexiglass.
“Clearly there is a backlog on plexiglass right now, everybody wants it,” Holcomb told 8News. “The ABC Store and the grocery stores, so as we get those shields installed we will open more offices.”
Virginia’s DMV offices have been closed for two months, however, all nine that opened on Monday are equipped with plexiglass shields to separate customers and employees, chairs are spaced 8-feet apart, and facemasks are recommended.
“The beauty is now as a customer you can plan your day,” Holcomb said. “Instead of saying ‘gosh I’m going to get to the DMV around 9 o’clock and I don’t know when I’m going to leave.'”
Customers stood in-line outside the Chesterfield DMV on Johnston Willis Road today covered in PPE, getting checked in.
“I saw the social distancing,” DMV customer Ron Gradford said. “They are very clean in there. They clean the stations and they’re keeping up with COVID standards.”
Gradford had a noon appointment to get a new drivers license.
“I expected some delays,” Gradford said. “They had some delays, but you can see everyone in there is working pretty hard.”
The DMV granted a 60-day extension for those whose license or registration expired before May 15 and the deadlines for Real ID’s has been extended a year, until October of 2021.
DMV offices have also extended hours, now staying open until 6 p.m., including on Saturdays.
Due to delayed re-openings for some areas, DMV offices in the City of Richmond, Accomack County, and Northern Virginia remain closed.
The DMV Commissioner told 8News he hopes every office will be back open by July.
For a full list of services click here.