Governor’s Special Session Budget Supports Service Enhancements
JANUARY 19, 2021, RICHMOND, VA – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is now offering more convenient service options for customers during the current COVID-19 pandemic. These changes are a direct result of language included in the budget Governor Ralph Northam signed in November.
DMV is working with the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Courts statewide to help juveniles obtain their first-time driver’s licenses in a timely manner during the pandemic. Under normal circumstances, driver’s licenses for customers under age 18 are sent to the judge of the customer’s local Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. The Court then conducts a licensing ceremony to provide the customer their license. Due to the pandemic, some Courts are no longer holding licensing ceremonies. DMV is now able to work with the Courts to determine which localities are not holding licensing ceremonies so those driver’s licenses can be sent directly to the minors.
Driver Training Schools
The budget allows DMV to permit Class B driver training schools and computer-based driver education providers to administer the end-of-course driver’s education test online during a declared state of emergency (such as the current COVID-19 pandemic). It also allows Class B driver training schools to administer in-class curriculum and the parent/student driver education component of the driver’s education course via an online platform.
Aid for Customers Moving out of Virginia
The budget also allows the DMV Commissioner to delay the cancellation of a credential when a customer moves out of the Commonwealth. Prior to this change, a customer had 30 days upon leaving Virginia to transfer their credential to their new state. During this pandemic, DMV has extended that grace period to 90 days, giving customers more time to obtain a credential in their new state of residence before their Virginia driver’s license or identification card is cancelled.
Restricted Driving Privileges
The budget also ensures any customer who had a prior driver’s license revocation for a non-motor vehicle-related, drug-related offense is able to petition the court for restricted driving privileges. If the petition is granted, the customer can obtain a restricted driver’s license as long as they are otherwise eligible. DMV has contacted all 305 affected customers and assisted them in scheduling appointments to satisfy any outstanding requirements, such as completing a knowledge test.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how customers interact with DMV,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “DMV is constantly looking for ways to serve customers outside of our customer service centers. These additional updates and changes to policies and procedures will undoubtedly help even more customers during these unprecedented times.”