DMV Encourages Californians to Renew Driver License and ID Cards Online

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
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Sacramento, CA 95818
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June 1, 2020

Governor signs executive order to extend eligibility for out-of-office renewals

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging eligible customers with expiring driver licenses and identification cards to take advantage of the easy-to-use online renewal system, including Californians who previously were required to renew at a DMV field office.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on Friday to extend the temporary waiver of the requirement for Californians to renew their driver license or ID card in-person at a DMV field office if they had previously reached the limit of out-of-office renewals. This latest executive order extends the temporary waiver granted by the Governor’s March 30 executive order through July 28, 2020.

“We have offered online renewals for many years, and that service is especially vital now more than ever with only 71 field offices open to the public and serving a limited number of customers,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said. “If you have an option to renew your license outside of an office, please take advantage of it.”

Most California drivers younger than age 70 are eligible to renew their license online or by mail within 120 days of the expiration date. The DMV sends out a renewal notice that indicates whether a customer is eligible to renew online or by mail. Governor Newsom’s executive orders have further expanded eligibility beyond what is indicated on the renewal notice.

The DMV has taken additional actions for customers with expiring licenses who are still required to renew their license at a field office, including providing a 120-day extension to Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver license that expires from March 1 to July 31, 2020. Eligible drivers received an extension in the mail automatically. The DMV also has extended expiring noncommercial licenses for drivers younger than 70 through the end of July. Expiring commercial licenses, learner’s permits, endorsements and certificates are valid through June 30, 2020, to align with federal guidance.

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 Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

The measures to help Californians with expiring driver licenses are among a number of DMV actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:

  • 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.


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