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California Driver’s License and Identification Card Renewal／Replacement
If you need to renew a California driver’s license, you can typically do it one of three ways:
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will send you a renewal notice about 60 days before your license expiration date. The notice will have instructions to renew your driver’s license. If you do not receive a notice, you can submit form DL 410 to review your eligibility to renew by mail. If you are not eligible to renew by mail, you can go online or call 1-800-777-0133 to schedule an appointment.
Find your local California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). For faster service, you can schedule an appointment ahead of time.
When you arrive, you’ll complete a Driver’s License or Identification Card application form, which can be done at touch screen terminals and are available in 10 languages. You can also sign up to become an organ donor and register to vote.
If you don’t want to use the touch screen terminal, you can bring in the renewal notification that was mailed to you. Cross out any outdated information and write in the current information.
At the DMV, you can expect to:
Pay an application fee. This ranges from $9 to $46 depending on the type of renewal need. Here’s the list of application fees.
Give a fingerprint scan.
Have your picture taken.
Pass a vision exam.
Pass a knowledge test. Your renewal notice will tell you if you need to take the test. If you do, you need to answer at least 15 out of 18 questions correctly to pass. You have three chances to pass the test.
Apply for or convert to a Real ID. A Real ID will be required by the federal government by Oct. 1, 2020. You will need it to board a domestic flight (unless you have a passport) or enter military bases and most federal buildings.
List of acceptable documents to get a California Real ID
After completing the requirements, you’ll receive an interim license that’s valid for 90 days. You should receive your photo license within 60 days. If you don’t, call 1-800-777-0133 to check on its status.
If you can answer “No” to all of the following questions, you may be able to renew your California license by mail:
Will your driver’s license expire more than 60 days from today’s date?
Will you be age 70 or older when your license expires?
Are you currently on any type of driving suspension or probation?
Have you violated a written promise to appear in court at any time in the last two years?
Have you already received two consecutive five-year renewal extensions by mail?
Do you have a driver’s license from more than one state or jurisdiction?
Are you applying for a Real ID driver’s license or identification card?
If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, you may have to renew your license in person or online.
You may be able to renew your California driver’s license online if you received a “Renew by Mail” notice and:
You don’t have to change any information, such as your address.
Your Social Security number has already been verified by the DMV.
You have a valid credit card (MasterCard, American Express, Visa or Discover).
You are not applying for a Real ID driver’s license or identification card.
To renew online, visit the California DMV’s driver license/identification card renewal system.
To apply for a duplicate license or ID, you need to:
Schedule an appointment with the DMV.
Find your local California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Complete a Driver’s License or Identification Card application form at the DMV.
Pay an application fee.
Give a fingerprint scan.
If you’re converting to or applying for a Real ID, you will provide your Social Security number and documents from the acceptable residency document list.
After completing the requirements, you’ll receive an interim driver’s license or ID that’s valid for 90 days. You should receive your photo driver’s license or ID within 60 days. If you don’t, call 1-800-777-0133 to check on its status.
The fee to replace a driver’s license in California ranges from $9 to $36 depending on what type of duplicate you need. Here’s a list of application fees.
Here are the costs to renew an ID card in California.
California identification card renewal fees
For more information on renewing/replacing your driver’s license or identification card, visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles.
Updated Oct. 22, 2019
Miscellaneous Licensing Information
If your DL is lost, stolen, or damaged, you must go to a DMV field office, complete the DL 44/eDL 44 form (the eDL44 can be completed online in advance), and pay a fee for the replacement. You should also present a photo ID. If DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary DL.
If you are a minor, your parent(s) or guardian(s) must sign the application. If both parents/guardians have joint custody, both must sign. Once a replacement DL is issued, the previous DL is no longer valid. Destroy the old DL if you find it later.
When you legally change your name because of marriage or other reasons, be sure to change your name with SSA before coming into DMV.
When you legally change your name because of marriage or other reasons, be sure to change your name with SSA before coming in to DMV. Bring your DL to DMV in person, along with your marriage certificate or other acceptable verification of your “true full name” (refer to the “Obtaining a Driver License” section). You must complete the Driver License & ID Card Application (DL 44/eDL 44) form (the eDL44 can be completed online in advance) and pay the applicable fee. DMV will electronically verify your name, birth date, and SSN with SSA.
A new photograph, fingerprint, and signature will be taken.
Effective January 1, 2019, customers may apply for a gender category of male, female, or nonbinary. You are no longer required to provide a Medical Certification and Authorization (DL 329) form, completed by a physician or psychologist who certifies to an applicant’s gender identification or demeanor. If you wish to obtain a DL/ID card with a gender category that differs from the gender on your identity document or existing California DL/ID card, you must present, in person, a completed Gender Category Request (DL 329 S) form to DMV.
DMV sends a renewal notice to your address of record approximately 90- 120 days before your DL expires. Follow the instructions on the renewal notice. If you do not receive a renewal notice, go online or call to make an appointment to renew your DL (refer to the “DMV Information” page for details on appointments).
Qualified drivers may be eligible to renew their DL online at DMV’s website at dmv.ca.gov or by mail.
DMV may issue a DL for 5 years. The DL expires on your birthday in the year shown on the DL, unless otherwise indicated. It is against the law to drive with an expired DL. A driving test may be required as part of any DL transaction. Driving tests are not required simply because of age. If DMV cannot confirm your identity, you will not be issued a temporary DL.For other types of DLs, refer to the California Commercial Driver Handbook (DL 650), Recreational Vehicles and Trailers Handbook, or California Motorcycle Handbook.
If you have not received 2 consecutive 5-year DL extensions, you may be eligible to renew by mail or Internet without taking a knowledge test, if:
Your current DL expires before age 70.You do not have a probationary DL (CVC §14250).You have not violated a written promise to appear in court within the last 2 years.You are not suspended for driving with an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, or refusing or failing to complete a chemical or preliminary alcohol screening test within the last 2 years.You do not have a total violation point count greater than 1 point.
If you are away from California (up to 1 year), you may request a free 1 year extension before your DL expires. Mail your request to DMV, PO Box 942890, Sacramento, CA 94290-0001. Include your name, DL number, birth date, California residence address, and out-of-state address. Limited-term drivers are not eligible for this extension.
You must always keep your DL with you when you drive. You must show it to any peace officer who asks to see it. If you are in a collision, you must show it to the other driver(s) involved (refer to the “Involved in a Collision” section).
When you move, you must give DMV your new address within 10 days. There is no fee to change your address. You may notify DMV of your address change for your DL/ID card, and vehicle(s) online at dmv.ca.gov. You may also download a Change of Address (DMV 14) form and mail it to the address on the form, or call DMV at 1-800-777-0133 to request a DMV 14 be mailed to you. A new DL/ID card is not issued when you change your address. You may type or write your new address on a small piece of paper, sign and date the paper and carry it (do not use tape or staples) with your DL/ID card. If you change your address at a field office, a DMV representative will give you a Change of Address Card (DL 43) to complete and carry with your DL/ID card.
DMV screens all drivers to measure vision with or without corrective lenses. If you do not meet DMV’s vision standard (20/40), you will be required to visit a vision specialist. The DMV representative will give you a Report of Vision Examination (DL 62) form to have completed by the vision specialist. If your vision is not worse than 20/70, DMV may issue you a 30-day temporary DL to allow you time to have your vision checked. All drivers applying for a DL must have a visual acuity better than 20/200 (best corrected) in at least one eye before a DL can be issued. You are prohibited from using a bioptic telescope or similar lens to meet the 20/200 visual acuity standard in the better eye.
Call 1-800-777-0133 to obtain a Medical Information Card (DL 390) to list your blood type, allergies, physician name, and other medical information. It can be carried with your DL/ID card.
You may sign up to donate your organs and tissue for transplantation after your death. When you apply for or renew your DL/ID card and check the “Yes, add or keep my name on the donor registry” box, your name will be added to the Donate Life California Organ Tissue Donor Registry and a Pink DONOR dot will appear on your DL/ID card. You must mark Yes to maintain the DONOR dot on your DL/ID card. When you check the “I do not wish to register to be an organ or tissue donor at this time” box, your name will not be removed from the registry. If you wish to remove your name from the registry, you must contact Donate Life California. DMV can remove the DONOR dot from your DL/ID card but cannot remove you from the registry. You may also provide a $2 voluntary contribution to support and promote organ and tissue donation by checking the “Would you like to make a voluntary $2 contribution?” box. As outlined in the California Anatomical Gift Act, your authorization is legally binding and, unless the donor is under 18 years old, your decision does not require the consent of any other person. For registered donors under 18 years old, the legal guardian shall make the final donation decision. You may limit your donation to specific organs or tissues, place usage restrictions (for example, transplantation or research), obtain more information about donation, change or update your donor status or information including your name and address, or remove your name from the registry on the Donate Life California website at: donateLIFEcalifornia.org.
For an additional $5 fee, DMV offers those who proudly served our country the option to mark the face of their DL/ID card with the word “VETERAN” to indicate they served in the U.S. Armed Forces. In addition, DMV will refer veterans to the California Department of Veterans Affairs to determine eligibility for benefits acquired while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Visit County Veterans Service Officers (CVSO) to obtain a signed, certified Veteran Status Verification Form (VSD-001).Visit a DMV field office to request the Veterans designation be added to the DL/ID card.For more information, visit the DMV website at dmv.ca.gov or refer to the Are You a Veteran? (FFDL 43) Fast Facts brochure. The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) Connect program would like you to receive information regarding benefits, such as employment, housing, education, and health care services for which you may be entitled. Check the “If you have served, would you like to receive benefits information for which you may be eligible?” box on the DL 44 form. DMV will transmit your name and mailing address to CalVet for them to forward you benefits information. To locate a CalVet office near you, refer to your local government listing in your telephone book, visit the CalVet website at calvet.ca.gov or the DMV website at dmv.ca.gov.
You may register to vote or update your voter registration with DMV when applying for an original DL/ID, renewing your DL/ID, or changing your address. For more information, visit the DMV website at dmv.ca.gov.
It is against the law to loan your vehicle to a person who is unlicensed or whose driving privilege has been suspended or revoked. If an unlicensed person is caught driving your vehicle, it may be impounded for 30 days (CVC §14607.6). No person of any age may drive on a highway or in a public parking facility unless they have a valid DL or permit. The law also states that you must not employ, permit, or authorize any person to drive your vehicle on a public street or highway, unless they are licensed to drive that class of vehicle. A person must be at least 21 years old to drive most commercial vehicles for hire in interstate commerce and to transport hazardous materials or wastes.
Nonresidents who possess a valid diplomatic DL issued by the U.S. Department of State are exempt from California driver licensing requirements.
DMV issues ID cards to eligible persons of any age. To obtain an original ID card, you must present an identity document, residency document, and provide your SSN (refer to the ” Obtaining a Driver License” section). The ID card is valid until the 6th birthday after the issue date. If you meet certain requirements for specific public assistance programs, you may be eligible to apply for a reduced-fee ID card. Government or nonprofit organizations determine whether an individual meets the requirements for a reduced-fee ID card.
Drivers who are no longer able to drive safely because of a physical and/ or mental (P&M) condition may be eligible to exchange their valid DL for a no-fee ID card, if certain guidelines are met.If you are a “homeless person” as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act which includes, but is not limited to, a homeless child or youth, homeless person, or individual or family fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or another dangerous life- threatening condition, you may be eligible for a no-fee ID card.
Visit the DMV website at dmv.ca.gov or call 1-800-777-0133 for additional information.
Customers who are eligible to renew their ID card by mail or Internet will receive a notice approximately 90-120 days before the expiration of their current ID card. Reduced-fee ID cards cannot be renewed by mail or Internet.
When learning to drive, you should seek qualified instruction, either with a public or private high school or a state-licensed professional driving school. DMV licenses professional schools and instructors in California that meet rigid qualifying standards. Schools must carry liability insurance, hold a bond, and maintain complete records for DMV inspection. Vehicles are subject to annual inspection. Instructors must pass a written examination every 3 years or show proof of continuing education in the traffic safety field. If you use the services of a professional driving school, ask to see the instructor’s ID card. Go online at dmv.ca.gov or refer to the Selecting a Driving School for Driver Education and Driver Training (DE/DT) (FFDL 33) Fast Facts brochure for additional information.
The Mature Driver Program is an 8-hour course for drivers 55 years old and older. This course covers a variety of topics of special interest to the mature driver and is available from DMV-approved course providers. Visit the DMV website for more information. Your insurance company may offer discounts for those who complete the class and receive a completion certificate. The certificate is valid for 3 years and can be renewed by completing a 4-hour course.
Pedestrians (including joggers) should be aware of traffic conditions. Watch out for drivers before assuming you have the right-of-way when crossing a street. Be aware that hybrid and electric vehicles are virtually silent when running on electric power and you may not hear them approaching an intersection. Yield the right-of-way to vehicles when you cross a street between intersections and in areas with no pedestrian crosswalks or signals.
Remember: Making eye contact with a driver does not mean the driver will yield the right-of-way.
Do not suddenly leave a curb or other safe place, and walk or run into the path of a vehicle close enough to be a danger to you. This is true even though you are in a crosswalk. The law states that drivers must always yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian, but if the driver cannot stop in time to avoid hitting you, you still run the risk of being hit. Avoid distractions as a pedestrian. Do not use your cell phone or electronic wireless communications device while moving. To avoid becoming a hazard to vehicles and other pedestrians, you should be aware of your surroundings at all times. Always obey traffic signal lights. Whether the intersection has pedestrian or traffic signal lights, you must obey the pedestrian rules obey the pedestrian rules. At an intersection where traffic is not controlled by traffic signal lights, drivers are required to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within any crosswalk, marked or unmarked.
When a traffic signal light changes to green or “WALK,” look left, right, and then left again, and yield the right-of-way to any vehicle in the intersection before the traffic signal light changes.
If the traffic signal light begins blinking or changes to “DON’T WALK,” or to an upraised hand after you have gone part way across a divided street, you may continue across the street. Do not stop or delay traffic unnecessarily while crossing a street. Pedestrians are not permitted on any toll bridge or highway crossing, unless there is a sidewalk and signs stating pedestrian traffic is permitted.
If there are no sidewalks, walk facing oncoming traffic (see graphic below). Do not walk or jog on any freeway where signs tell you that pedestrians are not allowed. Do not walk or jog in a bike lane unless there is no sidewalk.
At night, make yourself more visible by:
Wearing white, light, or reflective material clothing.Carrying a flashlight.
Your vehicle may have technology that allows you to have cell phone conversations or play music from an electronic wireless communications device. With the increase of such technologies, it is important to remain aware of the road and avoid driving distractions. Here are some tips to reduce technological distractions:
Do not input navigation instructions while driving.Do not adjust music or other electronic wireless communications devices while driving.For navigation devices, use the audio navigation function when possible.
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