ITHACA, N.Y. –– The Tompkins County Department of Motor vehicles announced today that it will be continuing to operate by appointment only for at least the next month citing low staffing levels.

The appointment system was initiated to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic last June. The update today states the protocol will be around while new employees are trained and onboarded.

Some services, such as in-person license, permits and non-driver ID transactions, are available for walk-ins. Appointments will be given priority and walk-ins are available until 3:00 p.m.  

There is also a drop box available outside the DMV office at 301 Third Street, Ithaca. Customers can either have transactions mailed back or picked up once processed. Processing is usually that day or the next.

The DMV will be closed daily from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Appointments are mandatory for:

  • All permit testing due to limited availability of test stations
  • Reciprocity (moving to New York from another state)
  • Enhanced license
  • Real-ID license

Appointments are recommended for but not required for:

  • Conditional license
  • Restricted license

Please schedule your appointment at the DMV website here.

Representatives are also available by phone at (607) 273-7187 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., by email at this link and on Facebook here.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at