What CA seniors need to know about online DMV options to avoid in-person visits

The Department of Motor Vehicles is offering seniors who are age 70 and older the opportunity to renew their driver's license without having to visit a local field office.

"Based on our math, 98% of the things you need to do with the DMV you can do online," said California DMV director Steve Gordon.

Licenses that expired March 1, 2020, and throughout the COVID-19 emergency, are eligible for online renewal which also includes renewing the REAL ID.

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"Because of COVD-19, we have been able to relax that requirement. So, it allows us to extend this service so that seniors can renew online... provided they have a safe driving record," said Gordon.

This website provides senior drivers a guided process on how to renew online, along with answers to questions. But when it comes to applying for a REAL ID for the first time, an in-person visit is unavoidable.

"Unfortunately, the federal rules require to be present in a DMV office. So there is a presents requirement in the law," said Gordon.

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Gordon is advising visitors to go to the DMV's website and upload documents to help streamline the process once they arrive for their REAL ID appointments.

In the coming weeks, the DMV will also provide a 1-800-number so that seniors without the ability to apply online can call to get their applications for renewal processed via the mail.

Gordon said the DMV has online options for most drivers age 69 and younger to renew their license, even if their renewal notices states they must come into the office.
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