New pandemic relief option postpones requirement for as many as 500,000 Virginians to visit DMV for appointment service through 2021
Most Virginians who renewed their driver's license or identification cards through the Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) website or U.S. mail last time now have the option to renew again online or through the mail rather than making an appointment for in-person service. Most credentials are valid for either five or eight years. The new DMV service, instituted due to the effects of the pandemic, gives customers the opportunity to obtain a new two-year driver's license or ID card by applying through its website, dmvNOW.com.
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. 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. DMV is currently notifying customers eligible for the two-year renewal by their preferred contact methods. More than 50,000 customers have taken advantage of this service since September 15. Customers opting for the two-year renewal who had already made DMV appointments are urged to cancel the appointments so they are available for other customers needing in-person service.
"We wanted to be creative to help our customers who are navigating the challenges of the pandemic," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. "By providing this new online and mail-in two-year option, we are giving as many approximately a half million Virginians over the next 14 months the ability to skip a trip to the DMV. This frees up appointment space for other customers who must visit us in order to conduct their business."
The validity of DMV-issued credentials expiring during the health crisis has been extended under Governor Ralph Northam's Executive Directive 7. The credentials of customers who have received extensions are considered valid as long as the extension has not expired.
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, or
- 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.
Those who would like to renew their credential for five or eight years, or need a REAL ID compliant credential, must make an appointment at dmvNOW.com/appt for in-person service.