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Replace a Lost, Stolen, or Mutilated California Driver's License or ID Card

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California Drivers License Replacement

If your California drivers license was lost, stolen, or damaged to the point of illegibility, the California Department of Motor Vehicles requires you to replace DMV drivers license documents. Also, given the serious threat of identity theft, a common result of lost or stolen driving licenses, you should also report the theft (if applicable)before requesting to replace driving license materials from the DMV.

More Important Information on Driver's License Replacements

How to Report a Lost or Stolen Drivers License

While you will be required to mark if your drivers license was lost or stolen on the replacement license application,it is only recommended that you report that your drivers license was lost or stolen with local law enforcement. The risk of identity theft is high if you have a stolen drivers license. Take time to visit the police station, report the theft or loss, and get a police report to show to the CA DMV. In addition, you can call the following number to see if the CA DMV will waive your replacement fee if you report your drivers license stolen: 1-800-777-0133.

Eligibility Requirements to Replace a Drivers License

It is illegal to operate a vehicle in the state of California without proper licensing. However, there are a variety of requirements that must be met to obtain a drivers license copy. As mentioned earlier, a CA drivers license replacement is necessary if you damaged, lost, or had your drivers license stolen from you.
To replace lost drivers licenses, all California drivers must go the DMV in person. You cannot order a replacement license online, by mail or over the phone.

How to Replace a Drivers License in Person

Before heading over to your local drivers license office to order a replacement drivers license, familiarize yourself with what documents you will need to bring in:

  1. One proof of Social Security number:
    • Social Security card
    • Medicare card
    • U.S. Armed Forces ID card
  2. One proof of ID(only originals or certified copies):
    • U.S. birth certificate
    • U.S. passport
    • Military ID card
  3. One proof of CA residency:
    • Utility bill
    • Bank statement
    • Permanent resident card
  4. Payment for the applicable fee (with cash, check, money order, or a debit/ATM card).
  5. Provide your thumbprint.
  6. Have your photograph taken.

Once your documents are verified, you will be issued a temporary interim license that is valid for 90 days. You can expect to receive your permanent drivers license by mail within 60 days.
The CA DMV does not require drivers to retake the written or driving test to receive a drivers license replacement. Only new CA resident who want to transfer their out-of-state drivers license and lost it need to retake the DMV tests.

Schedule a DMV Appointment

As drivers can only replace stolen drivers license credentials (as well as lost or damaged) in person at a local DMV office, it is recommended that you avoid the long waits by going online and making an appointment. Doing so will help you plan out your day accordingly, keeping your visit to the DMV nothing more than a short detour.

How to Replace a Drivers License if Out-of-State

The state of California will not allow you to replace drivers license documentation if you are out of the state or county. You can only do so if you are in California at the time of losing your driving license. If you are traveling outside of the state, you will have to wait until you return home to replace your license in person.
If you have recently moved to California and lost your drivers license during the move, then you can simply go through the process of applying for a new drivers license. Be sure to bring the following documentation:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your Social Security card
  • A copy of your out-of-state driving record (possible)

How to Replace a Drivers License if in the Military

All military personnel in California may use military ID cards as proof of identification to replace driving licenses at the CA DMV. Follow these steps if you are member of the military:

  1. Make an appointment at a nearby DMV location.
  2. Bring one proof of:
    • Social Security Number:
      • Social Security card
      • U.S. Armed Forces ID card
    • Identity(only originals or certified copies):
      • Birth certificate
      • Passport
      • Military ID card
    • Residence:
      • Utility bill
      • Bank statement
  3. Pay the applicable fee (cash, check, money order, or a debit/ATM card).
  4. Provide your thumbprint and get your photo taken.

Replacement Fees for a Duplicate Drivers License

As you may have already suspected,getting a drivers license replacement in California is not free. The price you pay depends on the kind of license or ID card you want to replace:

  • ID card: $28
  • Reduced-fee ID card: $8
  • Senior citizen ID card: free
  • Class C driving license: $27
  • Commercial Class A, B, or C CDL license: $30

You can pay the above fees with cash, check, money order, or a debit/ATM card.

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