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Coronavirus: California DMV Canceling Driving Tests, Requiring Appointments For Office Visits

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The California DMV is making changes in the thick of the coronavirus outbreak.

Department of Motor Vehicle offices across the state remain open, but with major changes to protect customers and employees.

Hours will be restricted to Mondays, Tuesday, Thursdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Extended office hours and Saturday appointments will be immediately suspended.

The DMV is also canceling behind-the-wheel drive tests, effective immediately. DMV officials say they will contact customers to reschedule drive tests.

Starting Thursday, only customers whose transactions require an in-office visit will be allowed to come in, and they must have an appointment, in the effort to reduce the number of people in DMV offices at any given time. Driver license transactions that require an in-office visit include applications for a new license or REAL ID, drivers 70 years and older, anyone whose license was last renewed in-office 15 years prior, people who need to take a vision test, and those with a complex driving history.

The DMV says vehicle registration renewals, outdated insurance information, expired registration, smog issues and recent transfers can be taken care of online, by mail or on the phone.

DMV officials also say they have asked California law enforcement to exercise discretion when reviewing driver license and vehicle registration records that expire within the next 60 days, so seniors and those with underlying health conditions can avoid required visits.

A "Virtual Field Office" is being launched Monday to complement the DMV's services that are already available online. Customers can upload documents and provide an e-signature for vehicle title transfers, commercial driver license renewals, a name or gender change, driver license reinstatements or changing endorsements through the Virtual Field Office.

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