Last Updated on September 14, 2022 by John Robinson
When phoning the California DMV, you’ll get a few options on the line. Make sure to navigate to the customer service line, and then request to speak to a consultant. Once through, they’ll be able to help you with your problem or will put you through to another department
The best time to call is usually at around 08:30 before anyone else is already on the phone, otherwise, you’re going to be in for a long wait.
Hours: Monday to Tuesday: 08:00 – 17:00
Wednesday: 09:00 – 17:00
Thursday to Friday: 08:00 – 17:00 PST
How do I replace or renew my license with the California DMV?
There are three ways you can renew or replace a license in California; in person at the DMV, through the mail or you can renew it online.
Make sure you’re aware of exactly when your license will expire. California’s residents love their cars a bit more than their public transports, so it is safer to keep your license up to date.
Renewing your license at the DMV
No one wants to go to the DMV, but it is still an effective way to renew your license. Just follow these steps and you should be fine:
- Make an appointment. That way you can just go in and get it done and you won’t have to wait in a long line.
- Try and get there early.
- Fill out the California Driver License or ID Application form. It can also be referred to as the DL 44 or DL 44C form.
- They will take your thumbprints and passport photo. You can get the photos beforehand if you prefer.
- You will be given a vision test.
- Pay the small fee.
- Give the DMV the address where you can receive your license. Make sure it’s correct.
Sometimes you will have to retake the written test, depending on the nature of your renewal. This test is the same as the one you took when you first got your license. To pass you will need a minimum of 18 out of the 36 in total. If you fail, don’t worry, you can take the test a total of 3 times.
Once you’ve passed the exam you will get a temporary driver’s license which will be valid for 90 days.
Your license should arrive within 60 days, if you have yet to receive it you will have to do a follow-up visit to inquire as to its whereabouts. Anything can happen in the mail. Speaking of which:
Renewing license by mail
We can’t always go into the DMV, if that is the case you might be able to apply for a new license through the mail. Check the following list to see if you might be eligible:
- If your driver’s license expiration date is at least 60 days away.
- You are not over 70 years old, and won’t be over 70 after the expiration date.
- You should not be under any driving suspension or probation.
- Your driving license should be from the state of California
- You should not have received two consecutive license extensions through the mail in the past 10 years.
If all of this checks out, you can ask for a DL 410 FO form. After you’ve filled it in, send it to the DMV along with the renewal fee. You can find their address on their website.
Renewing license online
The best and easiest way to renew a license is through their online website. You’ll need to have a couple of things in place before you can do it, so make sure you:
- Have a verified Social Security number on file with the DMV.
- Have a valid credit card.
- A good internet connection.
Once you’ve got everything ready, you can now follow these steps:
- First you’ll need to collect your Renewal by Mail (RMB) notice and your credit card.
- Got the California DMV website and click on ‘online services’.
- Head on over to ‘Driver license renewal’.
- Follow the onscreen instructions and your license will be fully renewed.
Sometimes we hit a snag with our online ventures, if this happens just phone up the DMV and ask them for a consultant. They will be able to help you through the problem step-by-step.
Renewing a license can sometimes be a hassle. But if you know your expiration date, and you’re set-up online with the DMV, it will never be as much of a hassle as it used to be.