DOVER — The Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles will be turning its operations back to pre-COVID-19 “normal” conditions once Gov. John Carney’s state of emergency declaration is lifted Tuesday.
The changes will be taking place at DMV locations in Wilmington, Delaware City, Dover and Georgetown.
Marinah Carver, chief of communications for DMV, said staff is to be commended for their performance during often-trying conditions throughout the nearly year-and-a-half pandemic.
“DMV and Tolls consists of a large and diverse group of employees who have remained remarkably committed to demonstrating ‘First Class Service from the First State’ both prior to and during COVID-19 operational restrictions,” Ms. Carver said. “Their service to the public in the face of these changes is to be commended.
“As such, the consensus seems to be that resuming regular operations will further equip the division for efficiency and excellence. ... The division strives to remain attentive to any feedback from staff.”
Starting Tuesday, DMV buildings will return to full capacity. Further, face-covering recommendations will follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. While masks are not required, all customers who have not been fully vaccinated are encouraged to continue wearing face coverings while at the DMV.
Driver license/vehicle registration suspensions for bad checks will also resume, as will uninsured motorist customer notifications for any outstanding balance owed to the DMV.
Drivers can also expect pre-COVID-19 Class D road tests and counter eye exams to resume, with specific guidance in place from the Delaware Division of Public Health to protect both customers and staff. Customers are asked to follow all instructions received from the DMV and staff when utilizing either of these services.
Beginning Aug. 2, late fees will be assessed for any expired state-issued credentials and vehicle transactions.
Select DMV transactions (including the renewal of state-issued credentials and vehicle registration) may be eligible to be completed online at mydmv.delaware.gov or by using the self-serve kiosks on-site at any DMV location.
Like most other businesses, COVID-19 presented numerous challenges to the DMV and its employees. Ms. Carver said the organization managed to adjust its way of doing things and was able to streamline many of its processes throughout the pandemic.
“Despite facing many challenges, DMV and Tolls has prioritized the safety of staff and customers to the best of its ability with the implementation of COVID-19 operational restrictions,” she said. “One of the division’s largest hurdles throughout the pandemic — remaining open in various capacities — doubles as one of its most significant victories, as very few DMVs nationwide were able to do so.
“This allowed Delaware to test, issue and renew licensing for much-needed (commercial driver’s license) drivers; reduce title backlog for vehicle purchases made during the pandemic; improve existing systems and processes for increased and lasting efficiency; and prioritize any emergent transactions. Finally, DMV was pleased to partner with (DPH) in providing facilities for COVID-19 testing and vaccination.”
The pandemic did bring its share of lasting operational changes to DMV, including many more procedures and services available online and via smartphone.
Plus, Ms. Carver said, more improvements are on the way.
“Throughout the pandemic, the division joined countless businesses, organizations and agencies worldwide in identifying new and creative ways to offer customer-centric services,” said Ms. Carver. “A few initiatives of note include Delaware Mobile ID, a contactless way to verify age or identity using a smartphone; additional options added to myDMV Online Services; increasingly responsive engagement on communications platforms; and, coming soon, a revolutionary new system arriving late summer that will provide customers with more convenience than ever at DMV.”