Richmond DMV headquarters likely closed all week

By Gene Petriello - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - We have an update on the DMV Customer Service Center at the main headquarters in Richmond that has now been closed for two days. DMV leaders tell NBC12 they are confident the location will not reopen this week.

At this point, it looks like Monday will be the earliest the location will reopen. It could be even later than that.

On Tuesday, we found what leaders are calling an improving situation inside the DMV Customer Care Center. Cleanup crews were back as early as 8:30 this morning for more work. They spend the entire day on Monday doing the same thing.

The process now is make sure everything dries out. The DMV Center was flooded on Monday morning when a water pipe busted on the second floor. It left a mess inside.

Right now, there are more than a dozen or so huge fans that are working to dry the center out. Crews have also placed holes in the bottom of the huge pillars inside the center, so they can dry out the sheet rock inside those pillars.

By the day, crews are realizing more and more of the equipment and things inside the center need to be replaced. Today, crews told us they will likely have to replace the counters inside the center. Also, some of the wallpapering, sheet rock and all of the computers inside the center will need to be replaced.

The location can not reopen until the computers are back up and running again. DMV leaders are waiting on VITA to do that part of the work.

We caught up with some unsuspecting DMV customers on Tuesday, who did not know the main location on Broad Street was closed.

"I'm back here today and it's still closed," said Anahita Kohnsari. "It's an inconvenience. We sold a car and we are trying to return the tags. We have to keep coming every morning." She is actually heading down to the Midlothian location later today.

Meanwhile,  we caught up w ith Leroy Williams. "Kinda shocked," he says. "I never thought that would happen." He too, is gearing up for the trek to another location.

"The employees that normally work here have been dispatched to offices close by so they can help with any influx of customers," said Melanie Stokes, with the DMV. "We got a lot ahead of us."

Stokes tells us right now, there is no exact cost on all the damage. She says the state is self insured and the DMV is filing an insurance claim for the damages. A damage assessor is set to come here today or tomorrow. She adds, DMV won't know for a week or two the cost for all the mess.

"It's a work in progress," says Stokes. "It's going to take some time to get the computers up. We need to make sure the customer service center looks like it did before."

All other branches of the DMV are open. You can also go online to to complete most transactions that you would normally do in here in person.

At this point, it is unknown if there will be any extended hours at the main service center once it reopens for business.

DMV is reminding customers that many transaction can be done online at or by using the department's automated telephone service at 1-888-337-4782.

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