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How to Renew a Driver's License in California

A California Driver's License can be renewed either in person at any local DMV office in the State, online or by mail.

WHEN TO RENEW YOUR DRIVER'S LICENSE

Your California driver's license expires every four years.

TO RENEW IN PERSON

You must bring:

  1. A filled in form DL 44 or DL44C in original, available at all locations or can be mailed on request by calling (800) 777-0133.
  2. Commercial driver license holders require to complete the 10 year history record check form (DL 939) if renewing in person. Commercial drivers also need to submit a medical Certificate Card (DL 51A).
  3. If your name has changed, documentation of the name change is required along with proof of a true name.
  4. Appropriate renewal fee, payable by cash, check or ATM card (credit cards are not accepted).

Additional Notes:

You will be required to give a thumb print, have a picture taken and pass the vision exam. If your renewal notice states that you must take a written test, then you must take the traffic laws and signs test as well. You can also schedule an appointment to speed up the process. You will receive an interim license valid for 60 days. The DMV will send your new one in the mail, failing to receive which within 60 days you can call DMV at (800) 777-0133.

TO RENEW VIA THE INTERNET

You may renew your driver license online only if you receive a renewal notice in the mail. You will require:
  1. A Renewal Identification Number as stated on the renewal notice.
  2. A verified Social Security number on file with the DMV.
  3. The same address as on the expired license.
  4. Have one of the acceptable credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover) handy or an e-check.
Note: If you need to change your address, you will have to visit a DMV office.

TO RENEW BY MAIL

Renewal by mail is available only to residents who meet the following requirements:
  • Your license must not be expiring in the next 60 days.
  • You must be under the age of 70 upon the expiration date.
  • You must have no suspension or driving probation on your license.
  • You must not have violated a written order to appear in court in the last two years.
  • You should not have more than two consecutive five-year extensions on your license processed via mail.
  • You should not possess a driver's license from another state.
Prepare and/or complete:
  • Form DL 410 FQ (California Driver License Renewal by Mail Eligibility Information)
  • A check with the appropriate renewal fee.
Mail all the documents to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Renewal By Mail Unit
PO Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001.    

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Reviews of How to Renew a Driver's License in California

how can i check on my time -date of register on line for time and date

need help find out what is my time and date to take eye test

I submitted by mail a license renewal form back in early June and still haven't received my updated license. Where and how can I check with the DMV to see the status of the application? Should I be concerned that it never went through?

I renewed my license by mail but it did expire within the 60 days i sent it in. And they also cashed the check already that i sent in with the renewal. Can i go in to get a temporary license wile i wait for my new one?

Hi, How can i change the information on my driver's license. The color of my eyes should be brown. But on my drivers license they were black. Thanks.

The website instructions indicate eligibility to renew by mail is valid only if the license expires more than 60 days from application. The application itself indicates renewal by mail is valid only if license expires within 60 days. These contradict each other. Which eligibility instructions are correct?

Can an extension be applied to a drivers license when the license holder is a foreign national with an expiring H1B visa? The visa extension has been applied for and a receipt has been received from the USCIS. The delay is a result of a huge backlog at the USCIS.

My drivers license expires on my birthday August 20th. I am out of the country till November. I checked the internet and was told I need to apply by mail. How can I do this from overseas bfore I get back home in November as I will need to drive almost immediately upon my return. Thank you.

I renewed my license on March 27,2012 and have still not received it. It has been almost 90 days how much more must I wait

My driver license will be expired at the end of next month. I got a letter from DMV that I have to renew it in person. But I'm currently work in other country, but will return to US on Sept. Can I renew my license on Sept? Do I need to take any test again? Thanks.

My son surrendered his CA DL in Alaska and now has an Alaska Driver's License, as he is stationed in the Air Force there. Notification that his CA DL will expire in October 2011, arrived in the mail. Is there anything he needs to do about it?

My driver's license will expire on August 14, 2012........I will not be in the country to renew............is it possible to get a renewal prior to my extended stay overseas?

I will be leaving in October 2011

Now that you mention it, I do see that in VERY SMALL type, greyed out lettering at the top of your page. If there is confusion which is causing you frustration, I would think it would be helpful to make it more obvious to people.

I am a visiting scholar in USC. I applied a driver license. I received my driver license yesterday, but it shows it will expiration on 11/30/2011. Could you tell me why period of validity of my driver license is only 7 months. thank you.

Hello.., How do I get obtain an extenstion for my driver liscence? I haven't received my new liscence yet? My liscence expired last month. Please let me know.

How to extend my exstension for license renewal

Unless I am stupid, (could be!), there is a conflict on when to submit by mail as indicated on this web page and the "mail in" license renewal form, wich is:

This web page says "Your licnse must NOT be expiring in the next 60 days."

Renewal form Item 1B says if you answer "YES" to: "does your license expire more than 60 days from today" you can't remew by mail.

Which is it??

Hello, I'm inquiring about a CA Driver's License renewal. Unfortunately, I am deployed overseas iat the moment and my driver's license expired 4 days ago on March 4, my 21st birthday. How do i go about that? I believe my options are via mail or via internet. The only exceptions though are if your expiration date is 60 days away and what not; please advise me with further guidance. Thank You!

My photo on my current driver's license was taken 9 years ago, at which time I weighed 215 pounds, which is given as my weight on my current license. However, since 2002 I have lost 40 pounds, and currently weigh 175. When can I have a new photo taken, along with a correction of my weight? My license keeps getting automatically renewed without an updated photo and weight.

Does anyone know if the regular CA ID cards (not drivers license) is also taking the same amount of time/delays??

I recently changed my name and in order to update my passport I need a valid gov't issued photo ID (ie ID Card or drivers license). They won't accept my temp drivers license because it is not a photo ID.

I've been waiting since the beginning of December for my license.

I renewed my DMV license on 11-18-2010... It has been almost four months ( today is 2-27-2011) and still no license. I saw on the news that my expired intern paper license will be good for three months, but it will not for every situation. Glad to know that this state is really doing a good job. I guess I will wait for a while longer before I go to the DMV and ask for another paper license that is not expired. Come on Sacramento, your just as lousy as Jerry Brown.

Call the 800 number for DMV and tell them your temporary will expire on such a date .They will take your information and issue you another temporary and mail it to you.I did this all ready and got my temp three days after talking on the phone.I asked the lady that I talked to where she was and she told me she was in the Riverside DMV which I verified when I got my temp and checked out the zip code.My new license came the following day.

I am in the same situation, also been waiting since November and nothing. I am on my third interim drivers license. You shouldn't wait to get another one if yours is expired, call the 1800 number and they will mail one to you. With out the paper you are driving illegally.

Have been waiting since the beginning of November. Spoke to Sacramento office that doesn't show a reaseon for the dealy (no needing to redo because of new look), now have to call another number that is for special drivers license assistance to find out what the heck is going on!

I renewed online for DL 1/4/11 and as of 2/24/11 no license. And good luck getting through via telephone to anyone "live" person: can't happen and there is no other way to contact. This state is going to hell in a handbasket!

I searched for a way to ask DMV why my renewal license hasn't arrived in the mail yet when I have the canceled check and the license expired last week. I find this site which has a string of similar complaints but no replies explaining how long to wait or what to do about it. The dreaded trip to the DMV to wait for hours only to find out you have to start all over again because they lost your paper work is looming closer and closer. So distressing! Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Notice how most of these comments are negative. And government workers wonder why people are antagonistic. These are your tax dollars, going to fund an incompetent workforce for the rest of their lives

My story with DMV would make a book...it would NOT be a best seller...it is too common. I was told initially that I was blind and could not be licensed. I told them the dirty little secret ws that I drove to the DMV that day. Truth is that I am blind in one eye, the other is 20/20. I have been continuously licensed since I was 13 years old. I also informed them I have never had an accident nor a ticket in my 62 years, and I have been licensed in 8 eight states with no problems whatsoever. After several months of proving I could see, this took several trips to my eye doctor and verifications being filed, I was scheduled for a driving test to prove I could drive. We went one block and the examiner said I was disqualified because I didn't look to my right (the blind eye is on the right). During the exam I looked so far to the right that the examiner could see my left eye. It would not have mattered, they were determined to deny me a license. I finally got an attorney, a Highway Patrol Officer, and the Americans with Disabilities agency to back me. They did and I was immediatly given a license. (temporary) No permanant license yet. I have been waiting for four months...temporary has expired.

I've been waiting since August, when I renewed my license. I changed my address online and via mail when I moved in October. Website says my online change of address was declined (seriously). I hope the form I mailed reached them.

I was told to call Legal Services who are permanently engaged - I must have called 50 times. I cannot get through to the DMV at all now.

I just re-registered my car online, but still have had no correspondence in over 6 months so I don't know if they updated my address. I have no way of telling if my new tabs will come to my address or not.

So I have to take the day off work, lose a day's pay, to go to the DMV and find out what the problem is.

How can this be legally acceptable?

What is wrong with this organization? I sincerely feel that the DMV does not represent the intrest of the people. Is anyone with me? Can we start demanding that the DMV have some kind of responsibility to the citizens? Wasted Time, Wasted Money, Wasted Effort!!! Enough waste.

Applied online for renewal 12/16/2010 still have not received the new license. Mine expired 2/10/2011. This is a concern. DMV needs to post an official statement on the website to inform people how to proceed when their license expires because DMV does not send in a timely fashion. A valid ID is required in a number of situations.. applying for insurance, library cards, college residency to name a few.

I am in the same boat... December 12 filled out the papers and my temporary has expired!

I have expereinced similar problems - I have forwarded the issue to Senator Tom Harmons office - I suggest you all send emails to your State Rep

I sent in my check and renewal by mail in Oct. My license expired in Dec.... Feb. and still nothing. I am so glad I am not alone in this. I am keeping a pic of my cancelled check in my car so if I get pulled over I can show the officer the pic. I made an appointment but the earliest I can go to the DMV is late March.... hopefully my new license will come before then. Good luck to you all!! We need it!

Do you have to go to the DMV to request another temporary license if your original temp license expired? I don't mind waiting but I really don't want to have to go to the DMV again!

No call the 1-800 and request one to be sent. I am on my third one and once sent it takes 3-7 days to get

Went in person to DMV to renew license, 3 months later, on my almost third temp license, and no real license, however my family member applied last month are got it in 4 weeks...???? It's great that some go through and some don't but honestly those that were applied for during the new look should be processed frist and the newer ones put on hold, or hire more help. Also love that I am legal to drive with the paper but was denied writing a check.....seriously CA I dislike you!

did online renewal on Dec 17, 2010. 7 weeks later, I still do NOT have my license today, nor a temporary license.

Does anybody know if I can request a Temp license to get me into bars? I don't have a passport so I don't know what else I could do.

I renewed my license via the internet on DEC. 15. My license expired Feb.01 and I have still not received my new license. Impossible to contact the DMV. Guess lots of folks are waiting.

my licensce expires in two days, and I have not received anything in the mail. How do I renew my license.....can't do it online since I have not received anything in the mail, can't do it by mail since it's too late. What do I do? and Why didn't I ever receive a renewal notice in the mail?

They (the DMV) say some get lost, so you have to go into an office and go thru their wait in lines routine and waste a day for it.

Just got off the phone with the 800# he said they are 6 weeks behind when they process, i sent in my payment Ded 14, but they didn't process till Jan 12 so 6 weeks from that date. He said that police have been asked to be understanding but they can issue a "fix it" ticket for not having a valid drivers lic ON me if I'm driving, then i would have to go and get a temporary one to satisfy the fix it ticket. Guess I'll drive VERRYY carefully, so i can stay OUT of the DMV offices and out of trouble! Hope this helps!

Thank you for going through the painful experience of trying to reach the DMV by phone. I tried last week and had to give up as I was at work... I renewed online on 12/17 - I have no new license either and am driving on an expired one. Good to know there is a reason for this and it's not just me!

I renewed my driver's license end of november via mail. my check cleared on 12/2 and my license expired on 1/22. still no license in the mail. How long should i wait before I call DMV?

The EXACT (almost to the date) thing is happening to me! I didnt even realize mine expired till I was at a meeting that required a valid ID. I was almost NOT allowed into the meeting cause it was not considered valid anymore. Thankfully they did let me in, after some convincing! what is going on?

Seriously California? I know the drivers license cards are fancier now but they took my money way back when and I still haven't gotten my new one in the mail yet. Mine expired 13th of January. I think this is ridiculous, they need more people working at the DMV.

Same thing is happening to me. I mailed the check to the DMV in October and my license expired in November. DMV cashed my check the begining of December and I still have not received my license. I'm on hold with the DMV right now but who knows if they will answer because its almost 5 o'clock and I think they close soon.

I renewed my licensed in Nov 2010, the same it expired, thru mail, and payment has been cashed. Now, it Feb 8, 2011, I still have not received my license. Who should I contact to follow up. Should I call the 800#? Or should I go to the nearest DMV? Please advise me what to do.

Same thing is happening to me...3 months now and no license. Call the 1-800-777-0133 number and they can only tell you if it has been mailed or still in the "process" stage, which mine has been in "process" for 3 months now. If you ask they will mail to you a temp paper so you are legal to drive, but it's not much good beyond that. Apparently some license are coming out fine with the new look, and some have to be re-done (me, yours prob, and thousands of others).

when you find out let me know- I renewed mine in Oct after the CHP kindly accepted the "voluntary surrender" of my driver's license IN MARCH when they arrested me for an alleged DUI that I was subsequently informed that both the County and the DMV had declined to prosecute. I read the actual law to find out how to get my license back and discovered that while it provides exhaustive exhausting details on how a DUI conviction affects your "driing privelege", all it says about my situatiion is that "your driver lisence will be returned to you" or you can pay another $125 for a duplicate with an 8-wk lead time for delivery. Suffice to say that neither the CHP or the DMV returned my valid and legal driver license to me and when I called to inquire each agency told me that the other had it . I finally gave up and waited until it could be renewd (90 days prior to expiration), went to the DMV in person, paid the fee in cash, got a temp good for 60 days, had my picture and thumbprint taken (again) and signed the form the DMV person filled out for me and then presumably put into the que to be processed. 4 weeks later still no license but I did get a letter from the dMV congratulating me for being deemed eligible by them to renew my license over the phone or on the internet by simply paying the fee , without any need to actually go to a DMV office, The letter included a personal code number that I might as well try now. GOOD LUCK.

 

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