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Virginia Highway Safety Office News Releases

Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Media Contact: Sunni Brown
Department of Motor Vehicles
(804) 367-6834

Conduct Business Online During Thanksgiving Office Closings
Drivers Urged to Avoid Distractions, Get Rest Before Traveling

RICHMOND - All Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) customer service centers will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday from Thursday, November 28 through Saturday, November 30, 2013, and will reopen on Monday, December 2.

DMV customers can avoid service delays after the holiday closure by using DMV's preferred service options, including DMV's website, automated telephone service (1-888-337-4782) and the mail. Through, customers can complete more than 30 different transactions without visiting an office.

In addition, some DMV Select locations, which are operated by local governments or private citizens, operate outside of the state holiday closing schedule. The 57 DMV Selects across the state process vehicle-related transactions, including registration renewals, titles and license plates. Driver's licenses and ID card services are not available at DMV Select offices. To find out if a DMV Select in your area is open on a state holiday, visit

DMV urges drivers to be extra cautious during the Thanksgiving holiday due to higher traffic volumes and an increased number of out-of-state visitors to Virginia. "More vehicles on the roads, combined with distractions and the fatigue people often experience during the rush of the holidays, increase the potential for crashes," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb, the Governor's Highway Safety Representative. "To lessen your risk, never drink alcohol before driving, always wear your seatbelt, don't be distracted while behind the wheel, and get enough sleep before driving."

Being sleepy and driving drowsy affects your ability to drive safely. Drowsiness makes drivers less attentive, slows reaction time and affects a driver's ability to make decisions. The warning signs of drowsy driving include yawning or blinking frequently, difficulty remembering the past few miles driven, missing your exit, and drifting from your lane and hitting a rumble strip. "Get a good night's sleep, 8 to 9 hours for adults and 9 to 10 hours for adolescents, and set out on the road when you are feeling fresh," Holcomb recommended.

14 people died on Virginia's roads during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday last year. 11 people died in 2011, 10 people died in 2010, and 16 people were killed in traffic crashes during the five-day Thanksgiving holiday in 2009.

Normally, the busiest travel days during the Thanksgiving holiday are Wednesday and Thursday. To avoid increased traffic, drivers can travel on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday. Motorists are also encouraged to do most of their driving during daylight hours when visibility is best.

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