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DMV To Reopen Remaining 169 Field Offices Thursday For People With Current Appointments, Limited Transactions

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Beginning Thursday, the California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen its remaining 169 field offices that were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The offices will be open to customers with current appointments and limited to transactions that require in-person visits.

Behind-the-wheel drive tests are not yet available, and the DMV recommends that customers use its online services to complete transactions, including driver license and vehicle registration renewals.

"I continue to encourage Californians to use our online services, the Virtual Field Office, DMV Now kiosks and business partners whenever possible," DMV Director Steve Gordon said.

"Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit. To keep wait times down and to maintain public health guidelines, I ask you to only visit a DMV office when absolutely necessary and to come prepared."

Limited service that can only be completed in a DMV field office include:

  • Paying registration for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
  • Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
  • Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
  • Processing commercial driver license transactions
  • Applying for a disabled person parking placards (this can also be done by mail using the REG 195 form)
  • Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
  • Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus
  • Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow
  • Vehicle verifications

The DMV has begun rescheduling appointments canceled during the closure and has notified customers of the new date. Once those appointments are accommodated, the DMV will begin offering a limited number of new appointments.

They plan to resume offering all services to appointments and non-appointment customers in the coming weeks, as space allows.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government extended the REAL ID enforcement date to October 1, 2021, a year later than previously announced, to give people more time to apply.

"We appreciate the public's patience as we navigate this time of unprecedented challenges," Director Gordon said. "We will continue to monitor the situation and act in the best interest of our customers and employees."

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