By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen select field offices across the state on Friday, May 8, to assist customers with appointments and with transactions that require an in-person visit to a field office during the COVID-19 pandemic. The DMV continues to encourage customers to use online services, its expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including driver license and vehicle registration renewals.
Beginning Friday, the following 25 field offices will open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of opening at 9 a.m. Wednesday:
To safeguard the health of employees and customers, the DMV temporarily closed all offices to the public March 27. Following cleaning of the offices, expansion of virtual services and development of new protocols, the DMV is reopening select offices based on location, size, service capacity and the ability to offer enhanced service to commercial driver license customers. The DMV also is reopening its 10 industry business centers to process in-person business-related transactions. Behind-the-wheel drive tests continue to be suspended.
Employees will maintain physical distancing while serving customers with existing appointments and Californians in need of selected transactions that can only be completed in a DMV field office, including:
- Paying registration 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 placard (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 allows
In order to focus field office services to these select transactions, DMV staff may direct customers to online services and other available options to complete their transactions.
Employees in the remainder of DMV’s 170 public offices will provide services through the Virtual Field Office. The DMV plans to open these offices in phases during the coming weeks. More information on office openings will be provided on the DMV website.
In addition to physical distancing, employees will have access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, facial shields, gloves and soap and water. The DMV also will provide hand washing stations for customer use. Customers will be required to wear a face covering and remain 6 feet apart in line. Customers will also be offered a text message that will allow them to wait outside the building until notified they are ready to be served. Entry into the building will be metered, and customers may experience extended wait times.
Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit.
The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, kiosks, call centers, available business partners and virtually to process critical transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.
The DMV has taken a number of actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
- Extending all driver licenses that expire between March 1 and May 31, 2020. Drivers 70 years and older are receiving a 120-day temporary paper extension in the mail, and drivers 69 and younger can request a free temporary paper extension online.
- Keeping expiring commercial licenses, endorsements and certificates valid through June 30, 2020.
- Extending identification cards expiring on or after March 4, 2020, to be valid through June 22, 2020.
- Waiving late fees and penalties for vehicle registration renewals due between March 16 and May 31, 2020, and paid within 60 days of the original expiration date, as well as delaying other requirements.
- Temporarily waiving required in-person renewals for eligible driver license and identification cardholders with expirations in March, April, and May 2020. Individuals who meet the criteria are able to renew online or by mail.
- Launching the DMV Virtual Field Office to create new digital options for transactions that previously required an in-person office visit.
- Canceling all behind-the-wheel drive tests to honor social distancing guidelines.
- Suspending extended office hours and Saturday service.