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Renewing a CA Drivers License

  • The California Department of Motor Vehicles offers various options for license renewal, all designed to provide convenient and hassle-free service. You can renew your license by mail, in person, or online. The DMV requires that you be at least 18 to renew your license.

    In order to qualify for license renewal by mail, the DMV states that you must answer 'no' to all of the following questions:

    • Does your drivers license expire more than 60 days from today's date?
    • Will you be 70 years of age or older when your current drivers license expires?
    • Are you currently on any type of driving probation or suspension?
    • Did you violate a written promise to appear in court within the last two years?
    • Have you already received two consecutive four year extensions by mail?

    If you can answer no to the above questions, you can simply mail the completed "renew by mail" notice with a check for the $25 fee to the following address:

    Department of Motor Vehicles
    ATTN: Renewal By Mail Unit
    PO Box 942890
    Sacramento, CA 94290-0001

    If you have not received your "renew by mail" notice but you think that you are eligible, please use the Renewal by Mail Eligibility Information (DL410FO) instead of the notice.

    To renew your license in person, simply visit any DMV office. No appointment is necessary, however making an online appointment probably saves you time. You will need to:

    • Fill out a DL44 form or the renewal notice mailed to you by the DMV.
    • Pay a $25 fee
    • Have your picture taken
    • Give a thumb print
    • Take the vision exam
    • Pass a written examination. You only need to answer the first 18 questions on the test. In order to pass, you must get at least 15 answers correct. Your renewal notice will state if you need to take the written examination.
    • Check your address before you leave DMV and tell the DMV representative if your address is incorrect.

    If you satisfy these requirements, you'll be issued an interim license that's valid for 60 days. If you do not receive your renewed drivers license in the mail during this period, you are advised to call 1-800-777-0133 to check the status of your license.

    The DMV also offers you the option of renewing your drivers license online. To do so, you must satisfy the following requirements:

    • Be the person named on the renewal notice
    • Not have a change of address
    • Have a renewal notice with the Renewal Identification Number (RIN)
    • Have your Social Security Number available
    • Have one of the following credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, or American Express

    If you meet the above requirements, simply visit the California DMV webpage and follow the instructions.

    You can obtain more information on renewing your license by calling 1-800-777-0133 or find out more about drivers license renewals on the CA DMV website.

    Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the CA DMV. You can visit the CA DMV website or call 1-800-777-0133 for general drivers license and registration information.

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