Local Commentary

News from DMV, Real ID Extension & City Decals

By Tom Clinton

Many of you have contacted my Commissioner of the Revenue Office for information regarding the DMV about how to get an appointment at one of the DMV Customer Service Center Offices (CSCs), or get a time slot at the 8 monthly DMV Connect dates at the American Legion, or it’s about the Real ID Driver’s License, or the City’s new Permanent Decal. I’ll cover these subjects giving you the information you need to get important things accomplished at home or at work.

There have been several recent changes at the DMV, that taken together, should provide more options for getting transactions done sooner. The biggest one is that all DMV CSCs will now be open for Walk-in Service and appointments, but on alternating days, starting on Tuesday, October 5th, 2021.

DMV service by appointment only, will now only be done on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. DMV Walk-in Service will now be done on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays on a first-come, first-serve basis, by transaction type. Customers who have scheduled an appointment and instead decide to walk in for service, should cancel that appointment to make it available to others.

Customers should anticipate wait times during these new Walk-in Service days, as there is still a backlog of people needing to get DMV services done, due to Covid-19 complications. Preparation is key to a successful in-person visit, and many resources can be found at: www.dmvnow.com. For the health and safety of customers and employees, the lobby chairs at the CSC’s will be spread out, and all customers are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings.
The DMV recently started allowing Drop-off Service for vehicle titling at all 75 full-service DMV CSCs. This is for customers who have purchased a vehicle from another individual, or a business, that is not a motor vehicle dealer/dealership;, these are often called “casual sales.” Customers can bring completed applications and supporting documents to a CSC of your choice, without an appointment. Staff will review it to ensure the application is complete for processing, accept payment, and they’ll provide the customer an acknowledgement of receipt. DMV will conduct the transaction within 5 business days.

Customers can opt to pick it up at that same location, or have it mailed to them. Customers should make and retain copies of all documents before arriving. Payment is required at the time of submission, by check or money order. Typically, a titling fee of $15 and the motor vehicle sales tax of 4.15% are due at the time of titling, but if you want to register the vehicle and get plates as well, the registration fee should be included. Any additional fees owed will be billed so that the transaction will get completed. This is a quicker alternative to having all titles mailed to Richmond.
There are other nearby DMV vehicle-related options like the Arlington County DMV Select Office at 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, which is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. by appointment only. Appointments can be made through the Arlington County website; not through the DMV’s website. The Fairfax City DMV Select Office at 10455 Armstrong Street is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 to 4 pm, and that is by appointment only, through Fairfax City’s website.

If you haven’t heard, the deadline for implementing the Real ID requirement for boarding domestic flights, or going into Federal Government buildings, or onto military bases, where you’ll need two forms of ID, like a regular driver’s license, and a current US Passport for most people, or just the Real ID Driver’s License itself, with a star in the corner, has been pushed back until May 3rd, 2023; I’d encourage getting it done sooner than later!
Closer to home, I have hosted the DMV Connect team at the American Legion Building located at 400 N Oak Street for a year now. It started out as 4 days a month, and is now up to 8 days, Monday through Thursday, with the Remote Knowledge Testing, a first in the state pilot program, added for the Learner’s Permit Test and the Commercial Driver’s License tests.

The regular transaction dates are October 18th-22nd, and the hybrid testing and regular transactions dates are 25th-28th, and they’re by appointment through the DMV’s website. They are usually available online about two weeks out from the first day’s visit after 12 pm. The Connect’s hours are 9:30-3:30; they’re closed for lunch from 12:30-1:30. For more details, please call my office at: (703) 248-5450 or e-mail us at: commissioner@fallschurchva.gov. Our hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit us at City Hall in suite #202W, located at 300 Park Avenue, and we can provide flyers and tell you all about it!

Have you received and affixed your new City of Falls Church Permanent Decal? This will be the last decal you will apply until you sell the car, or heaven forbid, you move out of Falls Church City! All vehicles need to have a Permanent City Decal on their windshield to avoid a $50 ticket.