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Law Changes in California post-COVID-19

By DMV Wait Times Staff | January 31, 2021

Several changes have been implemented in California by the Department of Motor Vehicles due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to promote social distancing, the Department of Motor Vehicles has made certain facilities online.

Laptop and computer mouse on a desk
Many DMV tasks can now be done online.

Various services, such as renewal of driver’s licenses, are available online. License expirations have also been extended for a particular period of time. The following laws were implemented by the Californian Department of Motor Vehicles.

Commercial drivers were granted to continue driving and delivering the essentials goods and products during the COVID-19 pandemic. They need not worry about the expiring license or the medical certificate. They are given extensions if the license expires between March 2020 and February 2021. The extension is valid up to February 28, 2021.

Senior citizens 70 and over were provided to renew their driver’s license online through the website of the Department of Motor Vehicles. The non-commercial license holders 69 or younger are also now eligible for the online renewal of the driver’s license.

There is no cost charged for the extension of the driver's license. Also, the driver can drive with the expired card or licensed permit.

Behind the wheel, drive tests are required for issuing the driver’s license for the first time. DMV resumed the behind-the-wheel drive tests in June 2020. The behind-the-wheel drive tests are conducted observing social distancing and maximum precautions are taken care of.

Person driving a car
Behind the wheel driving tests are required for first time drivers.

For Customers/Applicants:

  • The applicants will have to wear a mask.
  • The applicants would have to first answer screening questions.
  • The applicants would have to go through thermal screening.
  • The customers whose permit has been expired will have to first fill out the new application form online before visiting the office.
  • The customers will have to check-in before the appointed time.

For DMV officers:

  • The DMV officer/examiner will have to wear face masks.
  • The protective equipment/PPE kits.
  • They need to cover their hands with gloves.
  • They also need to place a plastic cover on the test vehicle’s seat and floorboard.
  • At least two windows shall be kept open for proper ventilation.
  • The test that can be provided outside the vehicle is preferred.

Certain other changes are also implemented by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Those changes include shorter routes for testing, speeding up the testing process, increasing the number of exams that can be conducted per day, increasing the number of hours for conducting the tests. 

Woman cleaning her hands with hand sanitizer
Office safety and sanitation is of utmost importance.

The services that do not the physical presence of a person on the field are performed virtually to minimize the contacts. Never forget checking of eligible driver’s license and renewal of driver’s license are already made online and are in full fledge mode.

The payment of various fees can now be done not only using credit or debit cards but via other online modes of payments. 

The services of applying for real ID can be done online by filling the new application form and then uploading all the necessary documents from the home and then only going to the local DMV office at the appointed time. 

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