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How to Renew a Driver's License in California

Drivers License Online Services Guide

California Drivers License Renewal

Learning how to renew drivers licenses in California nearing the expiration date is essential for each licensed driver. Since driving with an expired drivers license is illegal in the state, drivers must renew their driving licenses at the appropriate time. Residents have the option of renewing drivers licenses in CA through a variety of methods including online, by mail and in person. For further information on how to renew drivers licenses with the California Department of Motor Vehicles, continue reading below.

How to Renew Your CA Driver's License



Renew your California drivers license before it expires

Note: Your California drivers license expiration date is also your birth date. Locate it on the front of your drivers license card.

To apply for a drivers license renewal in California, residents must decide upon which method is suitable for them. The CA DMV allows drivers license renewal applicants to renew their credentials in three different ways: online, in person or by mail. California online drivers license renewal applicants must first sign up for an account on the CA DMV website to become a certified user. To renew drivers licenses in person, drivers can make an appointment to receive expedited service. When visiting a CA DMV office to apply for a drivers license renewal, applicants will need to provide the renewal notice that was mailed to their residential address. That same CA DMV license renewal notice can be instead sent to the Department of Motor Vehicles for application by mail. To be eligible for by-mail or online driver's license renewals, you must meet a specific set of criteria.

Fees

California driver license renewal fees vary based upon the class of license. The cost to renew a standard Class C non-commercial driver's license is $33. Payment for the renewed driving license in CA is due at the time of application. Be sure to furnish the form of payment applicable to the manner in which you apply. For example, by-mail drivers license renewal applicants must pay by check, while internet users will need a credit or debit card to complete their transactions.

When to Renew Your California Driver's License

Drivers in California can renew drivers licenses as soon as they receive a renewal notice. Residents will be mailed a notification on how to renew drivers licenses with the Department of Motor Vehicles approximately two months prior to their driver's license expiration date.

Expired License

California drivers license renewal dates coincide with the driver's date of birth. Driving licenses are usually issued for a five-year period so your drivers license will expire on your birth date, the fifth year following issuance. Driving with an expired drivers license is illegal in California. Those caught driving with an expired license by law enforcement are at risk of receiving a traffic citation. Drivers should receive a drivers license renewal notice in the mail at least 60 days prior to their driver's license expiration date, giving them sufficient time to apply for a renewal either online, by mail or in person.

Requirements To Renew A California License

When renewing drivers licenses in California, motorists must submit the appropriate application materials required. The requirements vary depending on the the manner in which an applicant applies. Residents who do not qualify for by mail or online drivers license renewals must apply in person at a CA DMV office location.

In-person California DMV license renewal applicants must submit to a vision exam and have their photo and thumbprint taken. When applying for a drivers license renewal in person, the renewal notice serves as your application form and your current driving license as proof of identification. Bring both with you to your renewal appointment. To find out more about the requirements to renew drivers licenses in California, continue to the applicable sections below.

Renewing A CA Suspended License

California drivers license renewal procedures following a suspension vary depending on the type of violation for which the license was suspended. In most cases, renewing a drivers license following suspension requires an applicant to follow a series of steps, such as serving his or her suspension period, paying the reinstatement fee, as well as any court fines that are due. For more specific information on your particular case including where to renew drivers licenses in CA that have been suspended or revoked, contact the state's Department of Motor Vehicles during normal business hours.

CA Drivers License Online Renewal

To renew drivers licenses online in California, residents will need a Renewal By Mail (RBM) Notice containing a Renewal Identification Number (RIN). Drivers who have not received this notice can go online to schedule a DMV appointment, and thereafter complete the drivers license renewal process in person at a CA DMV location. Typically, drivers who can meet the following requirements are eligible to apply for drivers license renewals online or by mail:

  • You have not received two consecutive, five-year drivers license extensions.
  • Your current drivers license expires before you reach 70 years of age.
  • You do not carry a probationary driver's license.
  • You do not have a violation stemming from failure to appear in court or to pay a fine within the previous two years.
  • You have not had a BAC or refusal drivers license suspension within the previous two years.
  • You do not have more than one point on your driving record.

Eligible online drivers license renewal applicants who have their renewal notice in hand can register for a login account on the Department of Motor Vehicles online services page. Once registered, you must then be prepared to pay the driving license renewal fee with a valid credit or debit card.

Renewing Your CA Drivers License In-Person

Drivers can renew California drivers licenses in person by carrying out a few simple steps at their local DMV office. Applicants who wish for an expedited office experience are encouraged to go online to the CA DMV website to schedule an appointment ahead of their visit. To renew your drivers license in California, you will need to provide either a Driver License or Identification Card Application form (Dl 44) or your DMV license renewal notice. Be sure to correct any outdated information on your renewal notice before submitting it for application.

Along with the drivers license renewal application, drivers must also complete the following steps at the DMV office:

  • Provide a thumbprint.
  • Take a driver's license photo.
  • Pass a vision screening.

Additionally, CA drivers license renewal applicants with a notation on their renewal notice will be required to take a knowledge exam. The applicant must answer 15 out of 18 questions correctly in order to pass the test. To properly prepare for the DMV knowledge test, order a copy of the DMV.com practice exam which features over 100 sample test questions.

Out-of-State Military Renewal

California drivers license renewal requirements are more flexible for residents stationed out of state on active duty military service and their spouses. The validity of an expiring drivers licenses of a military member and his or her spouse can be extended with application for a drivers license extension. Applicants must apply by phone to receive an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces card. When carried along with a CA expired drivers license, the extension card allows the driver to use the license freely.

The drivers license renewal extension card is valid for 30 days following the military member's arrival to California. Drivers must apply for a DMV license renewal in person before the end of that time period. The applicant must complete the following steps to obtain a drivers license renewal including:

  • Submit a signed driver's license application.
  • Provide a thumbprint.
  • Take a driver's license photo.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Pass a knowledge test.
Submitted by lucyjzhwang on 19th Feb 2016

i renewed my drive license

i renewed my drive license three months ago, but i haven't still got my new driver license. my driver license is F8521329. why?

Submitted by islabonita on 16th Feb 2016

i send you guys my new

i send you guys my new address...Where is my renew drivers license its been 3 month and don't have my drivers license....why is taking sooooooo long?

Submitted by isa90 on 12th Jan 2016

I just turn 21, but the my

I just turn 21, but the my licence expires on 2017, is the DMV going to send me a new licence? or do i need to renew it?

Submitted by LukasZ on 28th Jul 2015

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Guys if you want to see her first amateur images just search in google: Bumelonto's galleries

Submitted by yiranzhou2002 on 2nd Jul 2015

I am a foreign worker with a

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.

Submitted by marcmccabe on 7th Jul 2015

Hi Yiranzhou, I have this

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...

Submitted by Smoua on 21st May 2015

My ID has expired more than

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

Submitted by jdriggers on 11th May 2015

I renewed my License at the

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?

Submitted by ztierney on 15th Jan 2016

I'm in the same boat right

I'm in the same boat right now. My interim license is about to expire in a week and I still haven't received my new license in the mail. Did you end up receiving yours in the mail or did you have to take some other measures to get it?

Submitted by Eric12345678910 on 25th Feb 2015

Is there any way to check on

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.

Submitted by Alex13768 on 14th Feb 2015

I am 16, and my permit is

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.

Submitted by Andrewneedshelp on 11th Feb 2015

I need help! I wanna renew my

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!

Submitted by eva cazares on 2nd Feb 2015

Hello, I did not receive a

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?

Submitted by saramo101 on 22nd Jan 2015

If I renewed my expired DL

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?

Submitted by Amfmatlock on 29th Jan 2015

My license expired

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

Submitted by Amfmatlock on 30th Jan 2015

I need to renew my driver 's

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

Submitted by timosh16 on 14th Jan 2015

How do I renew my driver's

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.

Submitted by mkebadave on 9th Jun 2015

My license expires on July

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?

Submitted by mkebadave on 9th Jun 2015

I can't get an appointment

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

Submitted by mkebadave on 9th Jun 2015

yes

yes

Submitted by mkebadave on 9th Jun 2015

I can't get an appointment

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

Submitted by George Hasa on 3rd Jan 2015

My driver license is expiring

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?

Submitted by bzez4u on 2nd Jan 2015

Hello! How to change driver

Hello!

How to change driver lincese Class B to C?

Let me know.

Submitted by mattcr on 16th Dec 2014

I renewed my license online

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

Submitted by russianhodge on 13th Oct 2015

How can I find out if I need

How can I find out if I need to renew in person or if I can do it online?

Submitted by rkopp on 20th Oct 2014

I ordered a new license

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?

Submitted by cdv on 23rd Dec 2014

Status of cdl ordered 60 days

Status of cdl ordered 60 days ago...

Submitted by betsyslemmer on 30th Sep 2014

I renewed my license at the

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?

Submitted by kathyctvu on 21st Mar 2015

For future reference, that IS

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

Submitted by ashleyvaldez on 23rd Sep 2014

I got an early renewal form

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.

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

I believe that if you renew

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.

Submitted by Danny Meyers on 6th Mar 2014

how can i check on my time

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

Submitted by Danny Meyers on 6th Mar 2014

need help find out what is my

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

Submitted by gammie (not verified) on 12th Jul 2013

I submitted by mail a

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?

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

It can take up to 60 days to

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.

Submitted by AdrianAzary (not verified) on 11th Jun 2013

I renewed my license by mail

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?

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

yes, you can.

yes, you can.

Submitted by Colleenchen (not verified) on 22nd Oct 2012

Hi, How can i change the

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.

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

You'll have to go into a DMV

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

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

You'll have to go into a DMV

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

Submitted by ckarr1163 (not verified) on 3rd Sep 2012

The website instructions

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?

Submitted by mskatestarr on 29th Sep 2014

more than 60 days to renew by

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

Submitted by pafleuel (not verified) on 29th Aug 2012

Can an extension be applied

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.

Submitted by maya94080 (not verified) on 16th Aug 2012

My drivers license expires on

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.

Submitted by Jennifer.lourie (not verified) on 29th Jun 2012

I renewed my license on March

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

Submitted by ykangela (not verified) on 27th Apr 2012

My driver license will be

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.

Submitted by nicmgr (not verified) on 15th Sep 2011

My son surrendered his CA DL

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?

Submitted by jmmcurtis@gmail.com (not verified) on 5th Sep 2011

My driver's license will

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

Submitted by nicmgr (not verified) on 15th Sep 2011

Now that you mention it, I do

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 5th May 2011

I am a visiting scholar in

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.

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