Since March, when the pandemic started, the California DMV has scaled back massively. To slow the spread of COVID-19, they have restricted field office visits, not allowing those who don’t have appointments and warning that no new slots to appear in person are currently available. For some, this may not be enough, and online efforts aren’t working. Learn more about this issue in this article. 

Are DMV Efforts Enough? 

It’s not a secret that the DMV has scaled back operations since the pandemic started. The out the door lines are evidence of that. They are doing everything from an appointment only, restricted office visits, and amped up their online efforts. But people are wondering if this is enough and are raising concerns.  The lines are longer than ever, the processes are questionable, and even after all efforts, customers and staff are left vulnerable with offices still being open. 

In-Person Tests Waived

As one of many temporary actions the DMV has been taking to protect customers’ health and staff,  in-person tests are being waived. These include knowledge tests for license renewals and out of state license renewals. But doesn’t this leave the public at risk by giving underqualified drivers the right to the road? 

The DMV states the tests are only waived for those maintaining their driver’s license class or those who can provide an out of state equivalent. But, employees inside the DMV have stated that even people who have failed their written tests several times or have been cited for driving under the influence are being allowed licenses. 

Read more about which tests are being waived in the DMV Registration Pilot Program.

Real ID Deadlines Waived

The DMV got a break when the Department of Homeland Security delayed the Real IDs’ deadline in California until Oct. 1, 2021. This made it easier to keep thousands of people away from field offices to get their Real IDs. Before the pandemic, the DMV was already struggling to issue these specialized licenses to millions of Californians before the deadline, which required citizens to have to ID to board domestic flights. 

The Real ID process required an office visit for a new photo, presentation of all documents, and a thumbprint. The DMV has therefore decided to honor existing appointments but not approve any new ones. 

Read more about the Real ID

Driving Tests Cancelled

Early on in the process of scaling back, the DMV canceled all driving tests, suspended extended morning hours and service on Saturday’s at is field offices, asking law enforcement to allow those with expired licenses or registrations a 60 day grace period. People whose registration must be renewed in person or those who have a registration expired for 90 days or more, and those with cars with smog issues will be able to take advantage of this grace period. 

The Numbers

Since March, the numbers of those visiting field offices have dropped from 95,000 per day a month ago to about 17,000 per day, which is significant but is still too high a number. According to the DMV, it still promotes social distancing recommendations. 

Those who go into a field office must have an existing appointment. The DMV prioritizes those who have transactions that need to be completed in person, like reinstating a suspended or revoked driver’s license, special registration transactions, or getting a commercial driver’s license. 

Even with all this in place and a massive scale back in effect,  DMV employees and customers alike still express anxiety over the risks of working or going to a field office. Given stay-at-home orders in April ( and possible future ones), DMV employees received letters to show law enforcement if they are stopped. The DMV is considered a “vital public entity required to continue core operations”. 

The Alternative

Many consider the DMV should close its offices and move more to its online services or use other alternatives, like DMV kiosks. Registrations and many other tasks can be done online, through the mail, at one of the 365 kiosks statewide, or in select businesses that have DMV services. But is it feasible to close all locations? The DMV has more than 170 field offices, and 27 million drivers have California licenses while 35 million vehicles are registered with the state. 

So what is the alternative? The DMV launched their Virtual DMV system in June, but the system is slow and inefficient. It takes around two to three months for requests to be processed. Users of the DMV virtual agent service encounter errors when uploading documents and no response from any agents. You are forced to wait, with no support personnel to contact. 

Learn more about why the DMV Virtual System Isn’t Working

The majority of users are not satisfied with DMV Virtual service and are searching for easier and quicker alternatives, including 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.

Sticker Quicker is the #1 Service Provider for the DMV

Sticker Quicker is a certified, lower-cost alternative DMV service provider that helps people in California with their DMV needs. We process registration renewals,  stickers, and license plate replacements without the need for in-person visits. The Sticker Quicker online system can prevent and handle 99% of all errors, which often cause DMV to delay your registration. 

During these times, we are the best solution if you want to instantly replace your license plate, change address, transfer titles, etc. We try our best to give customers streamlined solutions. The three major services Sticker Quicker provides are Registration Renewal, License Plate Replacement, and Sticker Replacement. 

Learn more about how Sticker Quicker is the Safer Alternative

So, if you need to go to the DMV, make sure to take into account all of their limitations and the risk associated with going to a field office. Try the safer alternative with Sticker Quicker. Our vertically-integrated online platform is designed to be quick while keeping with cutting-edge technology in mind. You can perform most kinds of DMV-related transactions via our online portal, and we will update your records instantly. Give Sticker Quicker a try, and you won’t be disappointed. Visit us at or call 888-635-0143.


Write A Comment