Need to go to the DMV? Here are your options


The California DMV has begun offering virtual services due to the conroanvirus causing closures.

Jessica Canul, Reporter

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order on April 23 granting the California Department of Motor Vehicles the right to waive late fees and penalties for vehicle registration.

According to a DMV press release, late fees and penalties for renewals due between March 16 and May 31 are waived, but vehicle owners must still pay their fees within 60 days of the original expiration date.

“These measures can help lighten the burden many Californians are experiencing during this difficult time,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon in the release.

The DMV has also extended identification card expiration dates on or after March 4 to be valid through June 22. According to the release, starting April 23, the DMV will also suspend the “requirement to submit a transfer ownership within 10 days for vehicle transfers occurring on or after March 4.”

All driver licenses that expire between March 1 and May 31 will be extended and expiring commercial driver licenses, endorsements and certificates will be kept valid through June 30.

According to the DMV Office of Public Affairs, drivers 70 years and older will receive a 120-day temporary paper extension in the mail. Drivers 69 years and younger may request a free temporary paper extension online.

The DMV will also temporarily waive required in-person renewal for eligible driver licenses and identification card holders with expirations in March, April and May. Behind-the-wheel driver tests have been canceled to honor social distancing guidelines.

According to the DMV’s website, a virtual office was created to allow customers to access certain services that typically required an office visit. The service allows users to upload documents necessary to complete a transaction. After the documents are reviewed by a DMV representative, users will be contacted to finalize the process.

The virtual office services include: title transfer, vehicle registration renewal, duplicate title, temporary driver license extension, medical examination report submissions for commercial drivers and vehicle salesperson reinstatement.

According to the release, not all of the traditional in-person services can be completed online. According to the DMV website, customers who wish to update their name, address or gender may not renew their driver license or identification card online.

The DMV website also states that applying for a REAL ID for the first time, a reduced fee or no fee driver license identification card, a commercial driver license or a senior identification card may not be done online.

Some states are giving their residents more remote options. Georgia and Wisconsin are allowing teens to secure a driver license without having to partake in the behind-the-wheel exam.

Outside of the virtual format, the DMV also offers services by mail, kiosks and available business partners such as dealers and smog check stations to process transactions. To learn how to complete certain tasks, the DMV encourages customers to use the service advisor on the DMV website.