DMV Extends Temporary Licenses To 90 Days

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Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins,
Armando Botello, Jan Mendoza
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February 25, 2011

Sacramento – Effective Monday, Feb. 28, Californians will be able to obtain a 90-day temporary extension on their driver license when submitting a renewal request by Internet, mail or in person, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced today. The temporary paper licenses were previously valid for 60 days and originally only issued in DMV field offices. This effort is being implemented to better serve DMV customers.

"The DMV is aware of the inconveniences that California drivers are experiencing while they wait for their new licenses," said DMV Director George Valverde. "By extending the life of the temporary licenses, we hope to lessen any negative impact so that Californians can continue their daily lives without interruption."

Since October 1, 2010, nearly three million newly enhanced driver license and identification cards featuring advanced technology have been issued. The DMV remains committed to ensuring a quality product is delivered to Californians and continues to deliver approximately 90 percent of the cards made by L-1 Identity Solution, the contractor manufacturing the new licenses, to its customers within four to six weeks

Some drivers may have recently experienced a longer than normal delay in the new driver license issuance process due to manufacturing difficulties associated with the new security features on the updated driver licenses. To help expedite a return to the DMV's standard issuance timelines, L-1 is currently in the process of reviewing and analyzing the primary problems with the card production factory, has increased its quality control staff, and has purchased equipment necessary for the DMV to augment its ability to inspect and mail cards faster.

"California drivers can rest assured that any delays in processing of their renewals will not impact the legality of their driving status," said Director Valverde. "When a driver renews their license, the driver's record is updated in the DMV's system within five business days, regardless of when they actually receive their new driver license."

In order to minimize delays, it is important that drivers monitor the expiration date on their license and process their renewal as early as possible. This will help minimize the overlap between the expiration of their driver license and the time it takes to process their new license.

The DMV wants to also inform drivers that the extensions will be recognized by law enforcement agencies, including local police and the California Highway Patrol, as well as several federal agencies including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Car rental agencies will also accept the temporary license extensions as a valid form of driver eligibility.

Customers who have experienced delays of six weeks or longer can e-mail the DMV at to obtain assistance with license renewal status, or call us at 800.777.0133. Customers should provide the following: full name, date of renewal, and any two of the following: street address, driver license number, or date of birth. Also please include a best telephone number or email in which to contact you.

The department also offers the following tips to customers:

  • Renew your driver license or identification card early. You should receive your renewal notice up to 60 days before the expiration date.
  • Check the expiration date on your temporary – about a week before it is due to expire, call the DMV call center at 800-777-0133 if you haven’t received your new license yet, and they will extend your temporary and mail you a new one.
  • Keep your temporary along with your old driver license.
  • Please be assured that your driver license and or identification card will be sent in the mail. If you have moved since you applied for your license and or identification card, you can change your address on-line or complete change of address form DMV14 and mail it in.

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Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions. Customers can also effect transactions by calling DMV customer service at (800) 777-0133. DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.


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