Due to the ongoing pandemic, the California Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging eligible Californians to renew their driver’s license online. Since March, the DMV has been extending driver’s license renewals. They have also set in motion several measures for Californians to avoid field offices and get services online. Find out how in this article.
As part of the California Department of Motor Vehicles response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMV has issued temporary extensions to California drivers aged 69 and younger with a noncommercial license expiring between March and July 2020. While this extension has now expired, all of these drivers can still avoid a trip to a DMV field office by renewing their license online – even if their renewal notice states an office visit is required.
The Governor of California signed executive orders waiving in-person renewals for eligible driver’s license and identification cardholders who had reached their maximum out-of-office renewals. With that in effect for the length of California’s State of Emergency or until modified, nearly all California drivers younger than 70 years old can now renew their license online or by mail. Some drivers, including those applying for REAL ID, must still visit a field office to complete their transactions. The DMV encourages those applying for a REAL ID to fill out the online application and upload the required documents before their office visit.
The DMV also issued one-year extensions to drivers aged 70 and older with expiring licenses between March and July 2020 who still need to go to field offices. They can now renew their license online or by mail within 120 days of the expiration date. Customers will receive a renewal notice that indicates whether a customer is eligible for online or mail licenses.
The measures taken by the DMV to help Californians with expiring driver licenses during the COVID-19 pandemic include:
- Extending identification cards expiring on or after March 4, 2020, to be valid through June 21, 2020.
- Waiving late fees and penalties for vehicle registration renewals due between March 16 and May 31, 2020, and paid within 60 days of the original expiration date, as well as delaying other requirements.
- Launching the DMV Virtual Field Office to create new digital options for transactions that previously required an in-person office visit.
- Extending driver license permits expiring from March through August 2020.
- Canceling all behind-the-wheel drive tests to honor social distancing guidelines.
- Suspending extended office hours and Saturday service.
Commercial Licenses Are Exempt Too
Commercial drivers who are eligible can now also avoid a trip to a DMV office by renewing their license online—renewing a commercial driver’s license used to require a visit to a DMV office. While most commercial drivers can now renew their driver’s license online, those who need to take a test or do not have a clean driver record are not eligible and must go to a field office.
The DMV states it now has the technological capability to complete the transaction without an in-person visit. Eligible commercial drivers can upload the necessary documents, pay the required fee by credit or debit card, and then receive their new card within a few weeks. Offering online renewals is the latest innovation to help California’s commercial drivers and slow the spread of COVID-19. In the past few months, the DMV began to offer commercial drivers new online options to submit medical certificate updates and request a free temporary paper extension for an expiring license.
The DMV also recently launched motor carrier permit renewals online – helping to streamline the process to shorten the time businesses must wait to receive their new permits, which are required for some transportation and commercial activities in California.
Besides these services, the DMV provides services via kiosks, call centers, virtually and with available business partners that can handle critical transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.
DMV Field Offices Are Still Open
DMV employees are still assisting customers with appointments at field offices with limited transactions requiring in-person visits. Even if they are open, the DMV still recommends that customers use its online services, as they have expanded their virtual services and other channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.
Find out how the DMV is scaling back because of the pandemic.
With their Service Advisor, customers can learn what their options are to complete DMV tasks. The DMV even has a page recommending DMV service providers, or partners, which are faster, through the DMV Anytime page.
DMV Pilot Program
The Department of Motor Vehicles has also started a pilot program that has made it possible for people to safely obtain driver licenses. The two main features of the DMV Pilot Program are:
- Eligible people (U.S. citizens under the age of 65 with no adverse change in their sight or new medical conditions) can renew their license online.
- Road tests waived for teens under some stringent conditions.
Eligibility for Online License Renewal
Drivers need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for the pilot program:
- They must have U.S. citizenship and a Class D (regular) driver’s license. Keep in mind that commercial licenses do not qualify for this.
- They must be below or at the age of 64.
- The person’s sight must not have deteriorated since their last license renewal.
- They must not have experienced any new medical complications or restrictions.
Learn more about the DMV’s Alternative Registration Pilot Program
DMV Service Providers
The DMV understands that quick and easy solutions are needed during the Coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, it provides online services with the Virtual DMV page, featuring a list of DMV service providers, or partners, which are faster, through the DMV Anytime page. Before choosing any DMV alternative service providers, it is important to make sure that they are legally established and authorized. They must be connected and certified to the DMV database to ensure all the information is transferred securely and seamlessly.
Learn more about DMV Service Providers
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The DMV has expanded its online services and has helped customers renew their licenses in their own time. But if you need any other service from the DMV, it will probably take a long time to do. Make sure to consider all of their limitations and the risk associated with going to a field office. To avoid this, try Sticker Quicker. Our online platform is designed to be quick, and you can perform most kinds of DMV-related transactions via our portal, and we will update your records instantly. Try Sticker Quicker by visiting stickerquicker.com or calling 888-635-0143.