Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on Thursday, March 19, the following actions it is taking to protect the health and safety of customers and employees during the Coronavirus pandemic:

As of March 19 behind-the-wheel drive tests have been canceled for the next 30 days. The DMV will be contacting customers to reschedule their drive tests.

The DMV will be immediately suspending extended office hours and Saturday field office service. DMV offices will be open for appointment-only services from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Wednesday office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Appointment-only service for transactions that require an in-office visit

Beginning March 19, customers whose transactions require an in-office visit will be served on an appointment-only basis. This action will significantly reduce the number of people in their offices at any given time.  Their appointments system will allow them to better manage the flow of people coming to their offices and accommodate social distancing recommendations.

Driver license transactions that require an in-office visit include:

* Applications for a new driver license or REAL ID

* 70 years of age and older, who are required to take a knowledge test

* Individuals who are required to renew in the office (last DMV visit was 15 years prior)

* Individuals subject to vision testing

* Individuals with complex driving history

Most vehicle registration renewals can be done online, at DMV kiosks, mail or phone. Vehicle registration renewals that are not eligible to use an alternative service channel include:

* Outdated insurance information

* Registration expired for 90 days or more

* Smog issues

* Recent transfers

Customer’s without an appointment will be scheduled for a return visit (if a customers transaction must be done in-person) or redirected to alternative service channels in order to complete their DMV business.

Social distancing measures in field offices:

Other measures the DMV is taking to promote social distancing include offering a texting service so customers can check in, leave the office and come back inside once they are notified by text of their place in line. In addition, seating is being reduced in our lobby to create more space between seats. 

There are services that can only be offered in a field office, like a REAL ID. Customers who must come to an office for service should go online or call to make an appointment.

The DMV has asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion when reviewing driver license and vehicle registration records that expire in the next 60 days. The DMV took this action so that seniors and those with underlying health conditions can avoid required visits to field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals.

DMV virtual field offices:

On Monday, March 23, the DMV will launch its virtual field office to augment the online services that are already available to DMV customers. Customers will be able to upload documents and provide an e-signature for the most popular DMV services, such as vehicle title transfers, commercial driver license renewals, name or gender change, driver license reinstatements or changing endorsements.

The virtual offices are in addition to the other online services already available to DMV customers. Certain transactions, such as vehicle inspections, new driver licenses, drive tests and REAL ID, will still require an office visit.

The DMV is also engaged with many business partners that offer DMV services. There are also 365 kiosks located throughout the state where customers can renew a vehicle registration and receive stickers as well as other tasks. The DMV is encouraging Californians to take advantage of the dozens of services offered online at DMV.ca.gov.

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