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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

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I am a foreign worker with a H1B visa expiring on Aug 12 that is also the expiration date of my driver license. The visa extension has been applied for through my attorney and a receipt notice has been received from the USCIS. The approval notice may be after Aug 12 due to the delay caused by a huge backlog at the USCIS. My attorney said that the receipt notice could be used for the driver license renewal in some states. I brought the receipt notice to the DMV but was declined. Could you have me get the issue resolved? If I can not drive after Aug 12, how could I go to work? I need your help and look forward to your reply at your earliest convenience.

Hi Yiranzhou, I have this exact same issue. Did the I-94 not work? What did they require as proof? Would appreciate your reply as I can't find the info anywhere either!

It doesn't look like anyone is coming here to answer questions...

My ID has expired more than 90days, will I still be able to renew through mail?

I renewed my License at the DMV and was issued a temporary paper license. Well it's been over 90 days, the paper license has expired and i still haven't received my new license in the mail. Should i assume it's just taking a long time? or should i begin to worry about mail theft at this point? can someone verify if it was sent yet?

Is there any way to check on where my license is? I went through this process, and was told that it would arrive in 7-10 business days, and it is nowhere to be found.

I am 16, and my permit is going to expire March 10th, 2015. I can't get the new one until March 13th, 2015, when I get the new one will I have to wait another 6 months to be able to obtain my license or just get it right away? I've obviously already surpassed the required amount of time to be able to obtain the full on license.

I need help! I wanna renew my drivers license, but i have a whole bunch of tickets to pay out before i can renew for one. Problem is, I don't know how to attain the information. I might have tickets in different counties. does that matter? can i just pay it off in one location? do they all collect to the same record? Note: im over due in paying my tickets. might be all sent to collections? if they even have that option. Im trying to avoid going to the DMV for this info. but if i must go? i must go. is there an easier way? please help me! Thank you so much for your time and info!

Hello, I did not receive a renewal notice for my driver license renewal that expired on 1/29/2015. Do i need to come in person to apply for a new driver license or will i be able to just renew my existing license on there?

If I renewed my expired DL online, what am I supposed to do while waiting for the new one to come in the mail? How do I get a temporary one while waiting for my permanent one?

My license expired January19,2015. Can I renew it online? Alice Matlock

I need to renew my driver 's license. Can I do it on the Internet?

How do I renew my driver's license if I can' get an appointment for three months? I am required to do it in person and due to so many undocumented foreign nationals looking to register for a license, I can't renew in time for my 01/29 birthday.

My license expires on July 15,2015. I can't get an appointment at the Clairemont San Diego office until July 22, 2015. I have to take a vision test. What do I do?

I can't get an appointment until after my license expires. What to do?

yes

I can't get an appointment until after my license expires. What can I do?

My driver license is expiring on my 70th birthday and I had several mail in renewals in the past. What's required for renewal in my case?

Hello!

How to change driver lincese Class B to C?

Let me know.

I renewed my license online 10/06/14 and still haven't received it (12.15.14). What should I do?

I ordered a new license online about 2 months ago, received the payment confirmation but nothing has come in the mail. How do I check to make sure it sent to the correct address?

Status of cdl ordered 60 days ago...

I renewed my license at the DMV. After test I received a printout with photo and ID information. Came on home.

Then realized it says "NOT A LICENSE OR PERMIT". HOW DO I GET MY TEMPORARY LICENSE?

For future reference, that IS your temporary license. It's just stating it's not an actual license or permit.

I got an early renewal form for my license before my 21st birthday, if i renew it early is it going to be any different then those who are already 21? Is it going to be marked as under aged like the others ex: 21 in year 2014 in red. If anyone knows please help.

I believe that if you renew before your birthday your new license will be vertical and say under 21, etc. This is what happened to my sister. I'm pretty sure you have 90 days after the expiration to renew your license online (if you're eligible). Remember, you can't drive with an expired license. However, if you are just waiting for your license, any police officer can scan yours and see that you have already renewed and are waiting on yours in the mail. They can give you an temporary license. So if you want it to be horizontal and not say anything about turning 21, wait until the day after your birthday.

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?

It can take up to 60 days to receive your new license. You can always call and check. If you go into an office, they can give you a temporary license if yours is expiring.

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?

yes, you can.

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.

You'll have to go into a DMV office and set an appointment. Then they'll give you a new license.

You'll have to go into a DMV office and set an appointment. Then they'll give you a new license.

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?

more than 60 days to renew by mail, within 60 days to renew online.

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.