Governor’s credential extension assists nearly one million Virginians during temporary DMV closure

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Nearly one million Virginians will benefit from a credential extension that Governor Ralph Northam ordered during the DMV’s temporary closure due to COVID-19, according to a release from the DMV.

The DMV suspended all in-person services for a minimum of two weeks on March 18. To assist Virginians who may need service during that time, Governor Ralph Northam issued an Executive Directive extending the validity of driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations for 60 days from original expiration dates.

“As nearly one million driver’s licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations are set to expire between March 15 and May 15, we are focusing on protecting the health of DMV’s customers, employees, and the greater communities in which they operate by shifting services primarily online,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine.

“Our responsibility to serve Virginians must be balanced with the current and urgent need to take precautions to protect our customers and staff,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Virginia is fortunate to be so progressive and offer so many transactions online and by mail so customers can continue to conduct business without an in-person visit.”

The DMV now wants to answer some common questions related to its closure and the credential extension. You can read that information below:

Credential Extensions
To provide further specificity, a customer whose driver’s license, learner’s permit, commercial driver’s license, commercial instruction permit, or identification card expires between March 15 and May 15 will have an additional 60 days beyond the credential’s expiration date to renew
their credential. For example, if a driver’s license expires April 30, the extension changes the expiration date to June 29. This extension includes the driver’s licenses of Virginians age 75 and older who will not need to visit the DMV to renew until 60 days past the original expiration date. Virginians who are eligible to renew online or by mail are encouraged to take advantage of those services.

Vehicle registrations that expire in March and April should be renewed online or by mail. If in-person service is needed (for example, by those who may not have access to the internet), these customers will have an additional 60 days to renew credentials without a late fee.

DMV notified law enforcement through the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) of these extensions.

Titles and Registration
Replacement titles and registration cards can be obtained online and original title and registration transactions can be conducted by mail. Customers who mail in their paperwork should keep photocopies and ship the package with a tracking number. Customers should provide a telephone number or email address so DMV can contact them if additional information is needed. For more information, visit dmvNOW.com/COVID19.

Titlework can also be conducted at a DMV Select office. Please note, most DMV Select offices, which are operated in partnership with local governments and private businesses, have closed or altered their operating hours due to current public health concerns. Please visit the DMV Selectlocations webpage for more information.

DMV Headquarters and Website Remain Open
During the temporary office closure, DMV’s headquarters and website, dmvNOW.com, remain open and continue to process transactions on behalf of Virginians. More than 40 transactions can be conducted at dmvNOW.com, including vehicle registration renewals, some driver’s
license renewals, address changes, and more.

REAL ID and Air Travel
On Monday, March 23, President Donald Trump announced that the October 1, 2020 enforcement deadline for REAL ID will be extended due to COVID-19. No new date was immediately announced.

Because REAL ID requires an in-person visit, customers cannot conduct this transaction during DMV’s temporary closure. However, now is a great time to gather the documents needed to obtain a REAL ID.

It’s important to note that REAL ID is optional in Virginia. Many Virginians may decide they don’t need one because they don’t fly domestically or need to access secure federal facilities, or because they already have another federally acceptable form of identification, such as a valid
U.S. passport. Visit dmvNOW.com/REALID for more information.

According to guidance from the Transportation Security Administration, travelers with a state driver’s license that expired beginning on March 1, 2020, and who are not able to renew at their state driver’s licensing agency, may still use it as acceptable identification at the checkpoint. TSA will accept expired driver’s licenses one year after the expiration date, plus 60 days after the duration of the COVID-19 national emergency.