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State DMV enacts reservation-only policy to reduce spread of coronavirus

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office in Garden City seen on March 13, 2019. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The State Department of Motor Vehicles will enact a reservation-only policy at all DMV offices, including across Long Island, to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, agency officials said.

The policy, which applies to DMV offices in Nassau, Suffolk, the five boroughs, Westchester, Rockland, Albany and Onondaga counties, will be phased in beginning March 18 and continuing through March 20./

The DMV's eight Traffic Violations Bureaus will also adjourn all hearings for the next month, beginning Wednesday. Motorists who were scheduled to appear during this time will receive an adjournment notice from the DMV, officials said. 

Nassau and Suffolk had previously shuttered its Traffic and Parking Violations agencies.

“Above all else, we want our customers to be safe, so we are now requiring reservations and adjourning traffic hearings in our Traffic Violation Bureaus to limit large crowds in our offices,” said DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder. “We are advising customers to only visit an office if they have to. Any customer who can complete their transaction online should do so.”

Long Islanders looking to visit DMV offices in Bethpage, Garden City, Massapequa, Port Jefferson, Hauppauge, Huntington, Medford and Riverhead must make appointments for only March 19, officials said.

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The DMV will also be reverting to regular business hours, from the extended hours that were implemented in January after the state passed a new law allowing immigrants living here illegally to apply for driver's licenses.

Agency officials said they will no longer allow customers to bring a companion into DMV offices unless they are necessary, such as a parent or guardian of a minor, an individual with a disability who needs support services and seniors who need assistance.

Customers can make a reservation online or by calling the DMV reservation hotline at 518-626-8990. 

Reservations should be made only for transactions that cannot be performed online such as applying for a REAL ID, registering a vehicle for the first time or applying for a learner permit, officials said.

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