Area motor vehicle offices facing COVID-related backlogs

Drivers trying to get an in-person appointment for driver or I.D.-related services are facing months-long waits for available appointments.

In the District, the first available appointments are often four months away. It could also take one to two months to make appointments in Virginia and Maryland, FOX 5 found.

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DC Department of Motor Vehicles officials say its four service centers are seeing about a sixth of the people seen in a day before the COVID-19 pandemic in order to maintain social distancing.

"We need to ensure the safety of our residents as well as our staff," said Vanessa Bernard, associate director of administration at the DMV.

Service centers were mostly closed until a month ago, leading to a rush to take care of expiring tags or licenses, officials say.

But DMV officials say people should first check to see if what they need to do can be done online. If not, the coronavirus emergency declarations extend the expiration dates of driver or I.D.-related documents until 45 days after the mayor's emergency ends.

Residents can go to the DMV's website to print out proof of the expiration extensions if traveling out of town and concerned about being stopped by law enforcement.

In D.C., Maryland and Virginia most services are by appointment only.