Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging eligible Californians to renew driver’s licenses online, including drivers whose temporary extensions expired July 31.
As part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DMV issued temporary extensions to California drivers age 69 and younger with a noncommercial license expiring between March and July 2020.
While that extension expired Friday, nearly 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.
Governor Gavin Newsom has signed executive orders waiving in-person renewals for eligible driver’s license and identification cardholders who had reached their maximum of out-of-office renewals.
With that wavier in effect for the length of California’s State of Emergency or until modified, nearly all California drivers younger than age 70 are eligible to renew their license online or by mail.
Some drivers, including Californians applying for a REAL ID for the first time, still must visit a field office to complete their transaction. The DMV strongly encourages REAL ID applicants to fill out the online application and upload the required documents before their office visit. The DMV has issued automatic one-year extensions to drivers age 70 and older with expiring licenses.
Summary of California driver’s license extensions
Age 69 & younger (non-commercial)
Beginning March 2020
Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail for licenses
Age 70 & older (non-commercial)
Extended one year from original expiration date
Commercial (all types, all ages)
Extended to September 30, 2020
Learner’s permits (noncommercial)
Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application
The extension is designed to give student drivers more time to prepare for and schedule their behind-the-wheel drive test during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DMV previously extended non-commercial learner’s permits expiring between March 1 and August 31, 2020. The DMV has alerted law enforcement of the extensions, which require no individual action on the part of drivers.
Commercial learner’s permits expiring between March and September have been extended through September 30, 2020, to align with federal guidelines.
The DMV resumed behind-the-wheel drive tests with new health and safety protocols on June 26 and has rescheduled all appointments that had been canceled. The DMV has begun offering appointments for new behind-the-wheel tests at certain offices, but it will take some time to clear the testing backlog.
DMV field office employees are assisting customers with appointments at the specific office or with limited transactions that require an in-person visit.
The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.
Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.