Local DMVs Still Operating on Appointment-Only Basis

While jurisdictions across the Washington area have rolled back nearly all of their capacity limits and mask requirements (with Prince George’s County, the last county in our region with a blanket mandate lifting theirs on May 28), area motor vehicle departments are still operating on an appointment-only basis for at least the near future.

The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia still require members of the general public who need to visit the DMV to reserve a spot in advance. Maryland and Virginia, in particular, seem to have a much larger number of available appointments than they had several months ago, given that essentially every department branch in both states has since resumed their regular service hours.

At the same time, all three jurisdictions are phasing out the grace periods for expired documents that had been in place since the beginning of the pandemic. In Maryland, MVA documents that have expired since March 12, 2020 must be renewed sometime this summer. Expired registrations, business licenses, disabled parking placards, and other “vehicle related products” must be renewed by July 30. Expired driver’s licenses, commercial licenses, and non-driver ID cards must be renewed no later than August 15.

In Virginia, the grace period for documents has expired, but the commonwealth has provided drivers who otherwise would need to renew their licenses in-person with the option to secure a two-year drivers license online. In the District, the grace period for all expired registrations, emissions, and licenses expired on June 1.

Please note that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security recently extended the grace period for Americans to get REAL ID-compliant licenses until May 3, 2023. After that date, drivers with non-compliant licenses can still drive legally if their state allows, but they will no longer be able to use those licenses to board commercial planes in the U.S., or gain access to federal buildings.

As we have mentioned previously, if you need to help secure a DC DMV appointment and are having trouble doing so, please contact Joe Koch, WANADA’s Vice President of Operations, at jk@wanada.org for assistance. We also continue to strongly encourage our member dealers to avail themselves of each jurisdiction’s motor vehicle department’s online services wherever feasible.

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