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All DMV Offices Will Open for Business Thursday, June 11 With Precautions Taken

 Posted on June 11,2020 in Criminal Defense

The Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen all of its field offices on Thursday, easing the angst of thousands of drivers with expired licenses who have been unable to schedule appointments because of overloaded phone lines or closed offices.

All 169 field offices, opening for the first time since they were shut down at the end of March to prevent the spread of COVID-19, will be able to assist those with current appointments at a specific office and limited transactions that require an in-person visit.

“Fantastic,” said Cathy Meadows of San Jose, whose license expired May 8. “I still need to drive, at least, to and from the grocery store.”

Behind-the-wheel drive tests are not yet available, and the DMV warns that lines could be long and recommends that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver licenses and vehicle registration renewals.

“Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit,” director Steve Gordon said. “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.”

Also, motorists can wait outside and get a text message when their number is called. Entry into the building is metered, and customers may experience extended wait times.

The agency has expanded its “DMV Express” option to all field offices, allowing people to fill out the online application for REAL ID, upload documents at home and receive an expedited experience at a local office. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government extended the REAL ID enforcement date to Oct. 1, 2021, a year later than previously announced, to give people more time to apply.

There are numerous changes to safeguard the health of everyone. Employees are wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing and have access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, facial shields, gloves and soap and water.

The DMV also is providing hand-washing stations in some locations.

The DMV plans to resume offering all services to motorists with or without an appointment in the coming weeks, as space allows,

The DMV has begun rescheduling appointments canceled during the temporary closure and notifying drivers of the new date. Once the DMV has accommodated those folks, it will start offering a limited number of new appointments.

This is encouraging to 81-year-old Louis Borges, whose license expires Wednesday.

“Frankly, I am very afraid about going out in public,” he said. “I haven’t left the house since March 14. I called the DMV and was on hold for two hours before giving up. Then, after 1½ hours, I accepted the call-back option and got a call an hour later but when I answered, there was no one there.

“I’m at my wits end and I’ve lost sleep worrying about this.”

Now he can perhaps rest a little easier.


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