On Your Side Alert: Warning about DMV sites

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - If you have business with the DMV, make sure you are on the correct website.

The official website is DMVNow.com. If you are not paying attention, your search engine could pull up sites with similar names but the pages are not affiliated with Virginia DMV.

A Facebook tip got us thinking, if it happened to one person it could happen to more. The issue, a viewer wanted to order a new license, they went online and ended up on a site called DMV.com. What they didn't not know was that the site is not affiliated with DMVNow.com, the official state DMV website.

"From time to time, we do get calls or emails from folks saying that they saw another website that they thought was Virginia DMV and then realized that it wasn't," Virginia DMV spokesperson, Sunni Brown explains.

She says you have to surf the web with caution. Be extremely careful before you input any personal information and double check that web address is DMVNow.com

"There are DMVs everywhere, in every state. It's a very popular letter combination, so obviously there are lots of websites out there that are going to have those three letters in the name," Brown tells us.

We did a Google search and came across some of those sites. Most of them have disclaimers stating that they are not associated with any government or state agency.  Many times the sites are not illegal but for profit sites, that may charge consumers for forms they can get for free.

The DMV does everything it can to make sure people know that DMVNow.com is the site they need to be on. In fact, the web address is on nearly every printout they mail or handout. There are also some warning signs that you are on the wrong site. "One huge red flag that customers should be aware of, is that if you are conducting a transaction on DMVNow.com you will never be asked to pay until the end of that transaction. So, if a website is asking for your credit card right up front, that's a red flag," Brown tells us.

She says another red flag, search results that are sponsored. Also keep in mind, you have to sign up for a secure account before you conduct any transaction with DMVNow.com. So, if a site is asking for personal information up front without you signing up, steer clear. If you come across a suspicious site claming it's connected with Virginia DMV be sure to report it.

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