All Calif. DMV offices reopening soon; Real ID deadline extended


SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — Starting Thursday the California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen its remaining field offices throughout the state that were temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Employees at 169 DMV field offices will resume to assist customers with current appointments at specific offices and allow limited transactions that require an in-person visit.

At this time behind-the-wheel driving tests are not available as the DMV continues to recommend customers to use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete driver license and vehicle registration renewals.

“I continue to encourage Californians to use our online services, the Virtual Field Office, DMV Now kiosks and business partners whenever possible,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said.

“Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit. To keep wait times down and to maintain public health guidelines, I ask you to only visit a DMV office when absolutely necessary and to come prepared.”

Offices will also offer vehicle inspections and basic controls tests for commercial drivers. Commercial officers will begin contacting previously scheduled applicants to reschedule vehicle inspection and basic skills components.

The DMV will resume offering motorcycle drive tests.

Limited services –the DMV will resume to serve customers with existing appointments and Californians in need of selected transactions that can only be completed in a DMV field office, including the following:

  • Paying for registrations for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
  • Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
  • Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
  • Processing commercial driver license transactions
  • Applying for a disabled person parking placards (this can also be done by mail using the REG 195 form)
  • Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
  • Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus
  • Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow
  • Vehicle verifications

Appointments — the DMV has begun rescheduling appointments canceled during temporary closure and notifying customers of a new date. Once the DMV accommodates those customers they will begin to offer a limited number of new appointments.

The DMV will be implementing numerous changes to safeguard the health of employees and customers including employees wearing face coverings, maintaining physical distance, access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, face shields, gloves, soap and water.

Hand washing stations will be provided for customers to use at select locations as customers will be required to wear a face mask to enter in the building.

Customers will be sent a text message as they wait outside the building until notified they are ready to be served. Entry into the building will be metered as a result customers may experience extended wait times.

The DMV has expanded its “DMV Express” option to all field offices which allows customers to fill out the online application for the REAL ID, upload documents and receive an expedited experience at a local office.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government extended the REAL ID enforcement date to October 1, 2021, to give people more time to apply.

“We appreciate the public’s patience as we navigate this time of unprecedented challenges,” Director Gordon said.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and act in the best interest of our customers and employees.”

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