Everything You Need to Know About Renewing Your California Drivers\’ License

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is notorious for long lines and slow service. In recent years, the state has taken steps to speed up and improve the processes for obtaining a drivers’ license, registering a vehicle, and other DMV-related tasks.

Renewing your California drivers’ license is getting easier, and in many cases can now be done online.

Online Renewal

Although first-time California drivers’ license holders will need to have an in-person appointment at a DMV office, renewals can usually be done online. The state’s new DMV website has a list of eligibility requirements for online renewal.

If you meet the requirements, you will be prompted to create an online account to continue your renewal. You should be prepared to pay your renewal fee as listed on your renewal notice. Follow the on-screen prompts to renew your California drivers’ license.

In-Person Appointments

If you are a first-time drivers’ license holder or you are new to the state of California, you will probably need to visit the DMV. You could go to your closest location without an appointment and wait in line all day, but a better option is to make an appointment online.

For drivers coming from other states, no driving test will be required. You will only need to provide your old license and proof of residency.

Driving With an Expired License

Driving with an expired license is chargeable as a misdemeanor offense in California. The good news is that it’s not nearly as serious of an offense as driving with a suspended, revoked or cancelled license.

When you are caught driving with an expired license, prosecutors will often reduce the charge from a misdemeanor to a simple infraction. This is provided you renew your license in a timely manner.

New to California?

For those who move to California from another state where they still have an active drivers’ license, the same offense could be charged. Driving with a license from a previous state, even if it’s still valid, is considered the same as driving with an expired license in California.

Legally, the state of California requires newcomers to obtain a California drivers’ license within 10 days of becoming a resident. But most of the time, when you are caught with an expired or out-of-state drivers’ license, you are offered some leeway if you obtain a new, valid license within 20 days of the infraction.

Got a Ticket for an Expired License? Call Mr. Ticket!

If you’ve been issued a traffic violation because you delayed renewing your California drivers’ license, your best option is to seek legal representation. Mr. Ticket has ample experience reducing charges in traffic violations and he can help reduce your misdemeanor to an infraction or even get the charge removed altogether. Call Mr. Ticket today!

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