The California Department of Motor Vehicles today is offering additional extensions to noncommercial driver licenses and permits so Californians can delay or avoid a DMV office visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV has alerted California law enforcement of the new extensions. Californians with a suspended license are not eligible.
Drivers age 70 and older with a noncommercial license that expires in June or July will receive a 120-day temporary extension. The DMV had previously announced a 120-day extension for licenses expiring in March, April and May, and the DMV is further extending licenses expiring in March to be valid through July 31, 2020. California law requires drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license but gives the DMV authority to issue extensions. No individual action is required as eligible drivers will receive a paper license extension in the mail.
Drivers age 69 and younger with a noncommercial license that expires between March and July will receive a temporary extension through July 31, 2020. In most cases, these drivers are eligible for an online renewal and should try to renew their license online. While the extension is automatic, drivers 69 and younger will not receive a new card or an extension in the mail. As an option, these drivers can request a free temporary paper extension online through DMV’s Virtual Field Office to document their extension, though one is not needed to drive. Californians who previously requested an extension through May 31, 2020, are eligible to submit a new request to document the new date.
Driver license permits that expire in July or August are extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application, whichever is earlier.
All commercial licenses, endorsements and learner’s permits that expire between March and June will remain valid through June 30, 2020, to align with federal guidance. Select DMV offices reopened to the public earlier this month to serve customers with appointments and process transactions that can only be accomplished at an office, including commercial driver license transactions. Commercial drivers also can now submit medical certificate updates for their license through the DMV’s Virtual Field Office, virtual.dmv.ca.gov.
Reminder – online and alternate services expanded
The Virtual Field Office – which allows customers to upload documents, provide an e-signature (if required) and pay associated fees with an e-check to accomplish tasks that previously required an office visit – builds on the other online services already available to DMV customers at dmv.ca.gov, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.
The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, kiosks, call centers, available business partners and virtually to process critical transactions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can use the Services Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.
The measures to help Californians with expiring driver licenses are the latest DMV actions to protect customers and employees during the coronavirus pandemic, including:
• Temporarily closing field offices. Following deep cleaning, expansion of virtual services and development of new protocols, the DMV is offering limited in-person services in each region.
• Extending identification cards expiring on or after March 4, 2020, to be valid through June 21, 2020.
• Temporarily waiving required in-person renewals for eligible driver license and identification cardholders with expirations between March and May 2020. Individuals who meet the criteria are able to renew online or by mail.
• 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.