The California Department of Motor Vehicle will resume behind-the-wheel driving test statewide starting Monday.
The DMV previously postponed all behind-the-wheel tests through the end of January for the health and safety of customers and employees during the statewide surge in COVID-19 cases. The DMV will automatically reschedule customers for drive test appointments that were canceled between Dec. 14 and Feb. 1.
Rescheduling is expected to begin in the next two weeks, and customers will be notified by text of their rescheduled appointment. DMV anticipates new appointments for behind-the-wheel tests will be available in mid-February once all previously postponed tests have been rescheduled.
In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants. The temporary suspension included commercial and noncommercial tests, but did not apply to motorcycle drive tests, which can be conducted at a safe distance.
The DMV previously extended eligible permits with expiration dates through May 31, 2021, for six months from the date of expiration, or to a date 24 months from the date of application, whichever is earlier. This automatic extension requires no paperwork and gives student drivers more time during the COVID-19 pandemic to complete the prerequisites needed for a provisional license. The DMV also has extended expiring commercial driver’s licenses, commercial learner’s permits, certificates and endorsements through Feb. 28.
“To protect customers and employees, the DMV requires everyone who enters DMV offices to wear a face covering, physically distance, respond to health screening questions and have their temperature checked. To best serve customers and maintain appropriate distance, the number of people allowed in the office is limited, chairs are appropriately spaced and plexiglass has been installed,” read a DMV news release.
Safety measures in place for behind-the-wheel tests include required face coverings, responding to health screening questions, temperature checks, cracked windows for increased air circulation and seat covers.
Although the DMV offices remain open to serve the public, customers are encouraged to use its online services. These include expanded virtual services, as well as other service channels to complete transactions, including driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.
Even if your renewal states an office visit is required, many can still renew their driver’s licence online, officials said.
To view the online services, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.
— Mitchell White