Field Office Reopenings

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DMV Offices Offering Limited Services

The California Department of Motor Vehicles has reopened its field offices to assist customers with appointments and selected service needs that must be completed in a DMV field office during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Questions You May Have

In addition to physical distancing, employees will have access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, facial masks and shields, gloves and soap and water. The DMV also will provide hand washing stations for customer use. Customers will be required to wear a face covering and remain 6 feet apart in line. Customers will also be offered a text message that will allow them to wait outside the building until notified they are ready to be served. Entry into the building will be metered, and customers may experience extended wait times. In addition, there is reduced seating in the lobby to create more space between seats.

For behind-the-wheel drive tests, the DMV is instituting numerous new testing protocols. All behind-the-wheel drive test applicants will be required to wear a face covering and answer screening questions before starting the exam. Temperature checks have been added to protocols statewide. DMV examiners will wear protective equipment – face coverings and gloves – and place plastic covers on the test vehicle’s passenger seat and floorboard. At least two windows need to be lowered during the test for increased ventilation. Examiners will conduct more of the test outside of the vehicle, for instance when they are providing applicants with pre-test instructions.

Yes, the DMV is honoring existing appointments. Those offices will also serve customers with select critical transactions that require an in-person visit to a field office.

The DMV will offer same-day appointments to customers in need of these critical services:

  • All Commercial Driver License transactions including applications, medical reports and administering knowledge and vision tests.
  • Paying registration for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
  • Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
  • Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
  • Applying for a disabled person parking placard (this can also be done by mail using the REG 195 form)
  • Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
  • Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus.
  • Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow.
  • Vehicle verifications

Offices will also offer additional services for commercial drivers, including vehicle inspections and basic control tests. The commercial offices will begin contacting previously scheduled applicants to reschedule the vehicle inspection and basic skills components. The DMV also will resume offering motorcycle drive tests.

The DMV is prioritizing all transactions related to commercial driver licenses, including medical reports and vision and knowledge tests.

Offices will also offer additional services for commercial drivers, including vehicle inspections and basic control tests.

The DMV has taken a number of actions during the coronavirus pandemic, including:

  • Extending driver licenses that expire between March 1 and July 31, 2020. Drivers 70 years and older are receiving a 120-day temporary paper extension in the mail, and drivers 69 and younger can request a free temporary paper extension online.
  • Keeping expiring commercial licenses, endorsements and certificates valid through June 30, 2020.
  • 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.
  • Temporarily waiving, through July 28, 2020, required in-person renewals for eligible driver license and identification cardholders who had previously reached the limit of out-of-office renewals. Individuals who meet the criteria are able to renew online or by mail.
  • Launching the DMV Virtual Field Office to create new digital options for transactions that previously required an in-person office visit.
  • Suspending extended office hours and Saturday service.

Customers are required to wear a facial covering to enter the office.

DMV offices have limited service capacity. If you have a qualifying transaction, you will only be served if the office can maintain physical distancing and public health guidelines. If offices become too crowded, you might be asked to try visiting at another time. Customers are encouraged to complete their transaction online, if possible.

Appointments

DMV has reopened its offices to assist customers with existing appointments and transactions that require an in-person visit. Because of the limited space in offices to maintain physical distancing and public health guidelines, customers are encouraged to complete their transaction online, if possible.

Behind-the-wheel driving tests for both commercial and non-commercial drivers will be suspended beginning December 14 through at least February 1, 2021. Those with appointments will be notified of the cancellations. Appointments will be rescheduled at a later date. Motorcycle driving tests have not been canceled.

Behind-the-wheel driving tests for both commercial and non-commercial drivers will be suspended beginning December 14 through at least February 1, 2021. Those with appointments will be notified of the cancellations. Appointments will be rescheduled at a later date. Motorcycle driving tests have not been canceled.

New appointments for behind-the-wheel tests are currently not available.

Yes, learner permit tests are available as part of the REAL ID application process.

Drive Test Suspension

Behind-the-wheel driving tests will resume statewide on Monday, February 1. Appointments canceled between December 14 and February 1, have been automatically rescheduled. Customers will be notified by text of their rescheduled appointment. New appointments for behind-the-wheel tests will be available in mid-February once all previously postponed tests have been rescheduled.

This action is to protect the health and safety of customers and employees during the current statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.

These tests require two people to share space in one vehicle and that presents potential risk to both parties, particularly while COVID-19 is circulating widely throughout the state.

Customers with scheduled appointments in the next two weeks will be notified their tests are canceled. Both commercial and non-commercial drive tests will be rescheduled at a later date.

Behind-the-wheel driving tests will resume statewide on Monday, February 1. Appointments canceled between December 14 and February 1, will be automatically rescheduled within the next two weeks. Customers will be notified by text of their rescheduled appointment. New appointments for behind-the-wheel tests will be available in mid-February once all previously postponed tests have been rescheduled.

Customers whose drive tests were canceled have been rescheduled to a later date. The Department sent out text message notifications to advise customers of their rescheduled date and time. If this time does not work for you, you can reschedule online.

The suspension does not apply to motorcycle drive tests. Motorcycle drive tests are not currently being canceled.

In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants.

The DMV previously suspended drive tests for three months beginning in mid-March. DMV resumed administering behind-the-wheel tests in June with safety protocols in place including required face coverings, temperature checks, windows cracked for air circulation, and seat covers.

DMV offices remain open to serve customers with other needs, though DMV encourages its customers to first visit dmv.ca.gov/online to see if they can accomplish their transactions without an office visit.

DMV employees will be redirected to assist with other customer transactions.

While the DMV has many safety protocols in place to protect the health and safety of customers and employees, Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit, including those interested in applying for a REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that the REAL ID enforcement date is October 1, 2021, and customers who want a REAL ID will have an opportunity to apply at a later date.

The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services at dmv.ca.gov/online, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.