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Top 5 Tips for a Quick Trip to the DMV

Planning Ahead to Get In, Out, and On With Your Day

RICHMOND – Want to make your visit to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) a breeze? DMV offers these tips to help you fully prepare for your next trip and expedite your visit.

“Over the past year, DMV employees have worked tirelessly to implement real change in our customer service centers and we want to make sure Virginians are reaping all of the rewards,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford. “Some of these conveniences may not have been available the last time you visited DMV. Make sure you take advantage of them by following our top five tips for your next visit.”

Follow the tips below for a quick trip to DMV:

  1. Check out This convenient webpage is a cheat sheet for DMV’s most needed services. If you need to know more about your transaction, this is the best place to start.
  2. Save time by starting your application at home: While office wait times are at historic lows, you can get a further jump start on your business by filling out your application in advance; some applications can even be submitted online.
  3. Gather the right documents: No one likes having to leave and come back. Get your transaction done in one visit by bringing all the documents you will need for the first time. Getting a driver’s license (including a REAL ID) can particularly require specific documents you might not immediately think to have on hand, so make sure to use our driver’s license document helper to select from a full list of approved documents.
  4. Decide if you want a REAL ID: Not everyone needs one, but if you fly, you’ll need to upgrade your standard driver’s license to REAL ID (or present another form of acceptable federal identification) when federal enforcement takes effect May 7, 2025. The next time you renew your license is the perfect time to apply! Learn more at
  5. Make an appointment for service or reserve your spot in line online: You want options? We’ve got them! Plan ahead by scheduling an appointment or jump in line from the comfort of home on the day you want to visit. Make your choice at


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