Smithfield DMV opening delayed until end of 2022

Published 2:51 pm Thursday, May 5, 2022

A new Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles customer service center in Smithfield is on track to open by the end of the year, according to DMV officials — even though construction hasn’t broken ground yet.

The DMV had announced plans in September to build a new 4,800-square-foot facility on South Church Street on a vacant parcel adjacent to Dollar General.

The DMV had initially anticipated breaking ground last fall and opening the facility by mid-2022, but as of May 5, the parcel remained empty save for two “coming soon” signs, one of which had fallen over.

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“While it may be quiet at the moment at the site of the future DMV Smithfield Customer Service Center, all parties involved are working diligently behind the scenes,” said DMV spokeswoman Jessica Cowardin.

The new facility will replace the shuttered DMV center at 912 S. Church St. on the opposite side of the road, which is now home to Office Express Plus, a shipping and printing business.

The old facility closed March 18, 2020, along with every other DMV office in the state due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Smithfield office remained closed even after the others reopened. According to the DMV, this was due to its small lobby and lack of a public bathroom.

The new DMV center, which will be more than double the old facility’s size, will be designed with seven service windows to allow for a higher volume of customers – and a public bathroom.

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

“The DMV is in the review process now,” said Town Manager Michael Stallings.

Currently, the closest DMV centers to Smithfield offering in-person services are in Hampton, Portsmouth and Suffolk.