White: DMV to keep regional office appointment system post-pandemic

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The move by the state Division of Motor Vehicles to offer appointments for its customers at its regional offices across the state is going to stay in place after the pandemic.

Byrd White

State Transportation Secretary Byrd White told members of the Senate Finance Committee Monday the pandemic forced the agency into the change and it’s gone well.

“Instead of going there and getting a number and waiting, if you have an appointment at 2 o’clock, they’ll see you at 2 o’clock,” White said. “If you walk in you have to get in line.”

DMV regional offices are known for the crowds they draw but when the pandemic hit the agency closed the regional offices and then eventually turned to appointments followed by limiting the number of people allowed inside an office.

White said the pandemic has also increased the use of DMV online services. He said the goal is to offer more and more services online in the coming years.

“We’ve got it to where now you can do it without coming to the (regional) office and it should be without any hassle,” White said. “We hope that in 10 years there won’t be any DMV offices.”

Some in-person services will continue to be needed especially driver’s license exams.

Rollan Roberts

Senator Rollan Roberts, R-Raleigh, also reminded White the state’s broadband challenges would need to be considered.

“Obviously we have a major broadband problem and until we get that fixed and educate our population they’re not going to go to your website and do that. So we’re always going to have to take those people into account,” Roberts said.

White said there were months last year when more than 50% of the agency’s transactions were done online.

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