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DMV starts to reopen some services by mail, but no in-person transactions yet

The Medford DMV on Jan. 28, 2020.

The Medford DMV on Jan. 28, 2020. Credit: Barry Sloan

ALBANY — The state Department of Motor Vehicles this week gradually began reopening some services by mail and through drop boxes at offices, but the beginning of in-person transactions is at least a couple weeks away on Long Island, state officials said.

DMV offices in Nassau and Suffolk counties, in New York City and in some upstate counties have begun processing registrations and other transactions by mail. The department is also accepting transactions through secure drop boxes at DMV offices.

In-person transactions are still prohibited under Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the state’s reopening under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s executive order to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Long Island is scheduled to enter Phase 2 on Wednesday.

When Long Island is allowed to enter Phase 3, limited in-person transactions will begin by reservation only with priority given to critical services. Road test for most driver’s licenses also will begin then.

For New Yorkers seeking federal REAL ID-compliant licenses, which will be required for even domestic flights, the deadline has been extended one year until Oct. 1, 2021. Those transactions require an in-person visit.

All driver’s licenses and nondriver identification cards and vehicle registrations that expired March 1 or later continue to be extended. Vehicle inspections that expired March 31 or later are also extended. The new due dates will be announced by the state, but until then drivers won't be sanctioned for documents that expired during those periods.

Road tests continue to be underway now on Long Island for commercial driver’s licenses, but everyone must wear masks. All other road tests will resume when counties enter Phase 3.

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Applicants for road tests will have their temperatures taken and will be asked if they have any symptoms of the virus or have been in contact with anyone infected by COVID-19.

Many DMV transactions continue to be available through the department’s website: https://dmv.ny.gov/.

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