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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

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.

I TRIED TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT BUT GOT ERROR MESSAGES PLUS ADITIONAL COMMENTS THAT THE WEBSITE IS UNDER MAINTENENACE. SO THERE, YOU WILL HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO GO TO AN OFFICE AND DEAL WITH THE CROWD. FUNNY THING IS THAT I SPENT SO MUCH TIME TO DISCOVER IT, EVEN FUNNIER IS THAT I AM ONLY TRYING TO HELP A CRIPPLED MAN WHO CAN'T STAND IN LINE.........THANK YOU STATE OF CALIFORNIA, DMV, YOU NEVER FAIL TO AMAZE ME

JAN.24 REGISTRATION RENEWAL STILL HAVE NOT RECEVED IT , I PRAY YOU SEND MY LICENCE SOON, 2-9-11

I renewed mine at about the same time, and I still haven't received mine either. I hope we both get our licenses soon!

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.

Also, if you call in they can send you a temporary card. In the meantime if you do get pulled over and you have your expired license, the cop can run it through his or her system and it will show up if you have renewed the license - so no worries there.

For everyone posting about not receiving their license - I put in my renewal on November 12, 2010 and just received mine in the mail today. THey are SUPER backed up. Mines so out of date (I'm 5'9" but it says that im 5'2"), but im afraid to get the info corrected due to time issues.

I went in to renew my drivers license on november 17.. im a us citizen.. just changed my address.. still haven't gotten my new id in mail AND My interim driver license expired a month ago.. seriously california?

Sent in renewal form and check in November 2010; license expires on 16 January 2011. Check has been cashed but no license received. What do I do?

I GOT MY CDL RENEWAL. AND DID NOT RECIVE MY ONE. MISPLACED THE DMV PAPER THEY GAVE. WILL THEY GIVE ME NEW PIECE OF PAPER.

FOR MY NEW DCL? ANYONE CAN GIVE ME INFOR? PLEZ

dmv, i sent in my drivers license in over a month ago, still haven't receive my new DL through mail.. it expired last week...when are you gonna send it to me? The phone 1800 doesn't work..they tell me to wait over 30 mins and still can't get through. What is going on?

Same to mine. What's going on? Mine expired on 23rd on January. Pls give feedback.

Mine expired on Jan 24th. What am i pose to do ?PLS GIVE FEEDBK

I mailed my check for renewal of my drivers license and have to received it. Check went through in November of 2010....DOB is January...

same here. i hope the DMV would notified us!

Waiting for my renewed drivers licence.Check has cleared .

I'm assuming there have been many cut backs so I simly made a copy of the check and also have a copy of the renew early paper work in my car. In the event that I should be stopped by an officer he or she shoud be resonable .Maybe they would issue a fix it ticket..not sure

What the heck is going on with DMV? They cashed my check for my license renewal by mail and i have yet to get my driver's license which has expired over 2 weeks ago now. Sure would be nice if they would let you know the time frame in which it takes them to mail you your new license or at least some kind of email address where we could inquire. it's obviously an issue for many of us. if we get a ticket, we should pass them the bill.

I physically went to the DMV to get a new license because I had lost mine and they said it would be mailed to me. Its been a little over 2 weeks and it still hasn't come. How long should it take? Who should I be calling to make sure i get it?

I wish you luck...I have been waiting 3 months for mine, and on my third paper license.

NO Idiot wait until you get pull over by a cop then take action, ofcourse ask them again////////

If you call the 800# they cannot answer any of your questions and will tell you to call a 916# that is constantly busy, there's no queue system. Who has time to sit all day and push the redial button? I've been trying to get my license for 5 months now and have been to a DMV office twice.... This is so frustrating.

Same issue here. I'm going on 6 MONTHS now and still have not received my new license. I have called several times, and visited the local office to find that I still have no license. Love their 916 # that is nothing but a busy signal... If you happen to get a phone number that works please post it here, and I will do the same, as I'm again sitting on hold...

THEY SAID IT SHOULD BE HERE BY MARCH 21,11 WHAT IF I GET PULLED OVER BY

COP?

I submitted an online renewal application online in early December (at which point my credit card was charged and I received a confirmation email) and now over 6 weeks later nothing has arrived and my licenes expires on Friday. What are we supposed to do in this situation?

My license expired July 2010. I went to a DMV office beginning of August. After about 2 months had passed and I had not received it I called them to inquire about the status. They could not tell me why I had not received it yet and told me that something might have happened to the photo and advised me to go back. I did. This was last November. I'm still waiting. The 800 # is useless, all they can tell me is that it has been renewed and then refer me to a 916 number that is constantly busy. I don't know what to do anymore.

are you a citizen or resident?

how long should it take to get a license that has been renewed online???? mine has been two weeks already....

I submitted my renewal license through the mail on 10-14-2009 i filled out the forms and i sent a check. I have not received my renewal notice or even my license i would like to know why its taking so long? i need a response a.s.a.p.

sicerely,

anita marez

I am in the same situation. I renewed my license on 1/3/11 and filled out the proper forms and sent my check, which they have since cashed. Put I have yet to receive my renewed license. I guess the best thing to do is to go physically to a DMV office and see if I can get some help.

I need to get a Renewal identification Number to renew my drivers license by internet. Currently, I'm out of the country, but I've visited a DMV office and changed my mailing address on August 17. However,I couldn't find my renewal notice in the mail.

Please help me to renew my license by internet before the expiration date of 11/23/09. I am returning in July 2010. Please send me a RIN through my email address, bjeuny@yahoo.co.kr.

If you need any of my personal info such as SSN, DLN, please let me know by emailing me.

Thank you so much for reading. Your prompt reply would be most appreciated!!!!

I'm checking to see if my renewal of my license has gone through. The check has cleared but I haven't received my license. If I get pulled over will I be in trouble dur to not having a current license.

i'm checking to see if my renewal of my license hasgone

through.the check has cleared but ihaven't received my license

if iget pulled over will i be in trouble dur to not having a corrent license

I renewed my license on 12/2/09. My check cleared. I have not received my new license nor have I any paper saying I renewed. How long does it take?

I did not receive my renewal notice in the mail. My license expires on 10-26-09. Do I need to go to the DMV or can I renew by email?

Same as all these people! iv'e sent my check over 6 weeks ago and have not recieved anything!!! My license is expired. Hope i dont get a Ticket!!!

Same for me ! Why haven't the DMV sent out letters telling us of the delay. What do we do with an expired license? At least send us an extintion on our license. If there were something you needed from us ,we would be charged extra. PLEASE RESPOND!

lilyontouch@yahoo.com

i sent my renewal check and form last month, but there is no any comment from DMV. my driver license gonna be expire next week. can u sent my driver liencese ASAP? thanks

 

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