DMV.com is a privately owned website.* Privacy

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 Anonymous on 2nd Feb 2011

NO Idiot wait until you get

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 1st Feb 2011

If you call the 800# they

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 4th Feb 2011

Same issue here. I'm going

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...

Submitted by Anonymous on 5th Feb 2011

THEY SAID IT SHOULD BE HERE

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

COP?

Submitted by Anonymous on 23rd Jan 2011

I submitted an online renewal

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?

Submitted by Anonymous on 1st Feb 2011

My license expired July 2010.

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 4th Feb 2011

are you a citizen or

are you a citizen or resident?

Submitted by krunkchris (not verified) on 24th Aug 2010

how long should it take to

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

Submitted by anna66 (not verified) on 21st Nov 2009

I submitted my renewal

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 22nd Feb 2011

I am in the same situation. I

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.

Submitted by Timsanchez (not verified) on 26th Oct 2009

I'm checking to see if my

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.

Submitted by Anonymous on 7th Feb 2011

i'm checking to see if my

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

Submitted by Anonymous on 20th Jan 2011

I renewed my license on

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?

Submitted by Theodore G Glover Jr. (not verified) on 20th Oct 2009

I did not receive my renewal

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?

Submitted by jsergiom83@yahoo.com (not verified) on 19th Oct 2009

Same as all these people!

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!!!

Submitted by huizhen (not verified) on 17th Oct 2009

i sent my renewal check and

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

Submitted by becky.shapiro@yahoo.com (not verified) on 12th Oct 2009

I sent in my check for

I sent in my check for renewal. This was in August, 2009. The check came back to me

stating that I needed to complete the application - what application?

I sent it back to the address given and I haven't heard a word from anyone from the DMV.

When can I expect to get my license? It expired on 9/29/09.

I need a response ASAP.!!!

Submitted by Jef Crotty (not verified) on 24th Sep 2009

I have been out of the

I have been out of the country since about one year and was unable to present myself for license renewal last December. My license expired since it was already renewal two times by mail. What must I do to renew my license? I am returning in October. I have an auto and motorcycle license.

Submitted by lincens at the dmv (not verified) on 24th Sep 2009

I sent in my renewal in the

I sent in my renewal in the beiging of Aug. my check cleared and I have not recieved my License renewal yet. Please let me know what is going on with my license? Becauce it is now expired.

Submitted by emcbride (not verified) on 9th Sep 2009

I did not receive my renew

I did not receive my renew notice in the mail and my license expire on September 16, 2009. Do I need to come in and renew my license

Submitted by leebest77 (not verified) on 21st Aug 2009

Hello I did not get my

Hello

I did not get my renewal in the mail my

license expired on 8-14 of August will i get my renewal

in the mail?

Submitted by prostovanka (not verified) on 20th Aug 2009

I did not recieve a "Drivers

I did not recieve a

"Drivers Lisense Renewal"

for in mail and my lisense has expired on the 17th of August. Is it possible to do it online since im always busy with work?

Submitted by George Jordan (not verified) on 13th Aug 2009

I completed the renewal form

I completed the renewal form to renew my license and I have not received my license yet! When should I expect my license? My license has expired now and I'm worried they may be lost in the mail or something. When can I expect my license to arrive?

Submitted by Gitana1 (not verified) on 11th Aug 2009

I forgot to send in my

I forgot to send in my renewal until 3 days before my birthdate. I put it in the mail with a check then found the place to renew online and also did that with a credit card. My main concern is getting the license before I have to travel and rent a car -- in 8 days! Is there a way to track status? Will the check get returned since I did it online?

Submitted by Laura Edelist (not verified) on 10th Aug 2009

I renewed via mail and it

I renewed via mail and it never showed up, and the old license is expired?

Submitted by mona.510 (not verified) on 9th Aug 2009

I have apply for my driver

I have apply for my driver licence on the internet but i havent reciveded and my old one is allmost ready to expired what can i do.

Submitted by BEN LEE (not verified) on 5th Aug 2009

I had received the renew

I had received the renew notice and need to renew my driver license in person before this coming September. However; I am currently out of town at this moment due to my work reason. I may not be able to return on time. How do I apply for renew procedure postponement? Thank you.

Submitted by E SISON (not verified) on 27th Jul 2009

My renewal fee has cleared my

My renewal fee has cleared my bank since June 26, 2009 but I still have not received my renewed liicense. Can you tell me the status?

Submitted by jimmy gibson (not verified) on 20th Jul 2009

I sent my renewal form in to

I sent my renewal form in to renew my drivers license 3 weeks ago it is expired now and i still havent recieved my new one what do i do?

Submitted by praders1 (not verified) on 4th Jul 2009

I sent in for my drivers

I sent in for my drivers license renewal on the first of May and still have not recieved it. I am driving on a expired license. What shall I do? Pamela Raders

Submitted by rortiz (not verified) on 3rd Jul 2009

i applied for my drivers

i applied for my drivers license on may 5 still havnt recieved it please send it to me thank you

Submitted by michellegoodwin (not verified) on 2nd Jun 2009

i need to know when my new

i need to know when my new license is coming i apply for it online

Submitted by genio (not verified) on 4th May 2009

I no longer live or speak to

I no longer live or speak to my parents and my rewal goes to there home address and my license renewal is due in about a month and i wish to renew my license through the website how do i go about that

Submitted by kathyf (not verified) on 14th Apr 2009

I wear monovision contacts,

I wear monovision contacts, one eye is for distance other for close up. When worn together I see perfectly but with your eye test of close one eye and read chart I cannot read with the eye corrected for close up. Does DMV take this into account or how do I prove that my vision is fine as long as both eyes are used to drive with, since I dont know anybody who drives around with only one eye open.

Submitted by David B. Rubic (not verified) on 13th Apr 2009

Please send me a renewal

Please send me a renewal notice to my e-mail address. I'm out of the country right now but my address is still the same

Thank you,

David B. Rubic

Submitted by betty.smith@dss.ca.gov (not verified) on 25th Mar 2009

I renewed the DL via interent

I renewed the DL via interent on 2-22-09 and received a tranaction confirmation in which it states to allow 10 days for processing. To this date, I have not received my new D.L. What should I do?

Submitted by madchef_2002 (not verified) on 2nd Mar 2009

Hey All, I hope you all

Hey All,

I hope you all realize this is not a secure site. Do you really think posting your name, address and DL# on an open fourm is a good idea? Just something to think about.

Submitted by maiausi (not verified) on 3rd Mar 2009

ok, thanks

ok, thanks

Submitted by DANIEL MOORE (not verified) on 9th Feb 2009

I'm past my renewal date and

I'm past my renewal date and would like to make an appointment at the victorville department to take care of this matter

Submitted by cleonard (not verified) on 4th Feb 2009

I am trying to retrieve

I am trying to retrieve information on replacing a lost driver's license and when I click on the How to Replace a Lost License, it on takes to me further links on replacing motorcycle and/or commercial driver's license. I am only seeking information on a regular Class C license.

Help,

Thanks

Submitted by gspnoza (not verified) on 29th Jan 2009

I have mode from my old

I have mode from my old address, and I need to renew my Driver'S License.

Submitted by edna26754905 (not verified) on 29th Jan 2009

n/a

n/a

Submitted by Yolanda M Arguelles (not verified) on 9th Jan 2009

please send me a renewal

please send me a renewal notice to my new address. i have moved from 32170 Pueblo Trail, Cathedral City, CA 92234 to my new address which is:

21822 Grace Avenue

Carson, CA 90745.

kindly advise also how much is the renewal fee. i just can't get it here online as my computer hangs up when i get to the point of getting the renewal fee.

i appreciate your prompt reply. Thank you very much.

Submitted by favesharon (not verified) on 9th Jan 2009

I have not received the

I have not received the renewal application yet. I have moved and probably didn't change my address. It may have gone to another address. My current name and address is:

Sharon Chiurazzi

9676 Anton Oaks Way

Elk Grove, CA 95624

CA DL: N6122254

Please advise. Thank you.

Submitted by Gary Biederman (not verified) on 8th Jan 2009

Please send me the renewal

Please send me the renewal information in the mail or to my email address. My birthday is 3/3/1939 and I haven't received notification.

Submitted by romerolazaro (not verified) on 25th Dec 2008

You should add on the website

You should add on the website how long it takes for the license to get to the persons house via mail. Information like that is important so the person can expect it since it is sensitive documentation. Just wanted to comment on that.

Submitted by Anonymous on 25th Jan 2011

HI My I.D exprie today I

HI My I.D exprie today I Paid fee for renew already please let me know what going onmy email adr: surapongma@hotmail.com thanks a millions thanks.

Submitted by Anonymous on 25th Jan 2011

About one month I sent the

About one month I sent the payment to DMV Today is my birthday I didn't see the new I.D please sent the message to me emil adress surapongma@hotmail.com let me knows thank you very much for your concern.

Submitted by Anonymous on 23rd Jan 2011

You guys are stupid posting

You guys are stupid posting your DL no.s and address here.

What are you thinking? You will not get a response this way!

Compare Auto Insurance Rates and Save DMV.com Exclusive!