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Sacramento December 9, 2020 – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is now offering Californians who are 70 and older the option to renew their noncommercial driver’s license online. Licenses that expire beginning March 1, 2020, and throughout the COVID-19 emergency are eligible, including REAL ID renewals. A mail-in option will be available in the coming weeks. Most drivers 69 and younger can also renew at dmv.ca.gov – even if their renewal notice states they must come to an office.
The alternative to an in-person renewal follows Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order that temporarily waives California law requiring drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license. The DMV will make this option available during California’s State of Emergency or until the order is modified.
The DMV previously provided yearlong extensions to senior drivers with noncommercial licenses expiring in March through December 2020. Those who received the extensions are eligible to renew online.
Commercial licenses, including those for drivers 70 and older, expiring between March and December are extended through December 2020, to align with federal guidelines.
Summary of California driver’s license extensions
|Age 70 & older (noncommercial) Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)||Beginning March 2020||Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail for licenses expiring during the emergency|
|Commercial (all types, all ages)||March-December 2020||Extended to December 31, 2020|
|Learner’s permits (noncommercial)||March 2020-May 2021||Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application|
The ability for senior drivers to renew online is the latest action to help Californians avoid or delay a DMV office visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV continues to streamline its processes to limit the time customers spend at an office. Customers applying for a REAL ID are encouraged to fill out the online application and upload the required documents before they come to the office for expedited service.
The DMV recommends that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.