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DMV gives 1-year extension to seniors driving with expiring licenses

  • This action delays the requirement for this population to visit a DMV office during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The DMV previously provided 120-day extensions to senior drivers with noncommercial licenses expiring in March through July. 
  • The DMV is also contemplating other ways to safely serve seniors.

CALIFORNIA — The California Department of Motor Vehicles is providing an automatic one-year extension to Californians age 70 and older with a noncommercial driver license with an expiration date between March 1 and December 31, 2020. 

While the new extensions are automatic, drivers will not receive a new card or paper extension in the mail. As an option, drivers can request a free temporary paper extension online beginning July 15 through DMV’s Virtual Field Office to document the extension, though it is not needed to drive. Californians with a suspended license are not eligible.

California law requires drivers age 70 and older to visit a DMV field office to renew their license but gives the DMV authority to issue extensions. The DMV has alerted California law enforcement of the extensions. The TSA accepts driver licenses for a year after the expiration date.

Commercial licenses, including those for drivers 70 and older, expiring between March and September are extended through September 30, 2020, to align with federal guidelines.

Summary of California driver license extensions

Expiration monthStatus
Age 70 & older (noncommercial)March-December 2020Extended one year from original expiration date
Age 69 & younger (noncommercial)March-July 2020Extended to July 31, 2020 Expanded eligibility to renew online or by mail
Commercial (all ages)March-September 2020Extended to
September 30, 2020
Learner’s permitsMarch-August 2020Extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application

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