Smithfield DMV finds new home

Published 7:15 pm Thursday, September 2, 2021

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles announced plans Sept. 1 to construct a new 4,800-square-foot customer service center on South Church Street in Smithfield on a vacant parcel of land adjacent to the Dollar General store.

The new facility will replace the shuttered DMV center at 912 S. Church St. on the opposite side of the road.

All DMV offices closed March 18, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Smithfield office remained shuttered even after others reopened. According to the DMV, this was due to its small lobby and lack of a public restroom.

Currently, the closest DMV centers offering in-person services are all within a half-hour’s drive from Smithfield, in Hampton, Portsmouth and Suffolk.

“We are pleased to continue to offer essential DMV services to customers in the Smithfield area through alternate methods and locations, while we construct a new location to more permanently serve the area,” said DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb in a DMV press release.

The new Smithfield DMV center, which is expected to break ground this fall, will be more than double the old facility’s size and designed with seven service windows to allow for a higher volume of customers — and a public restroom.

As the DMV is leasing the land for the future center, the landowner will be responsible for any zoning or design plan approvals needed from Smithfield’s Planning Commission or Town Council, said DMV spokeswoman Jessica Cowardin.

The DMV expects the new center to be open for business by mid-2022, she added.

The DMV’s lease on the old center at 912 S. Church St. expired Aug. 31. On Sept. 7, the building will reopen as the new home of Office Express Plus, a packing, shipping and printing business currently located in the Smithfield Square shopping center.