California Driver’s License Renewal
Updated On July 10, 2021
Did you know Highway 1, part of the Pacific Coastline in California, is 655.8 miles long? This popular tourist attraction sees many drivers every day despite a total travel time of 10 hours from start to finish. With all the beautiful coastline to travel, you bet the roads are full. The Golden State not only leads the U.S. in state population, but also in licensed drivers with a shocking 26 million.
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With the number of issued drivers licenses increasing, the potential for fake ID use is high. In the state of California, using a fake drivers license is punishable by up to three years in prison, up to $10,000 in fines, and the loss of your drivers license for up to a year. Continue reading for thorough details on how to renew your driver’s license in California.
How to Renew a Driver’s License in California
Do you need to know how to renew an California driver’s license? How do I renew my California driver’s license? When can I renew my driver’s license in California? Good questions.
California driver licenses are issued by the CA Department of Motor Vehicles, good for a period of 5 years before drivers need to renew their license.
Our California DMV driver’s license renewal guide explores the process of renewing your license during this time including renewing by mail, in person or online, license renewal eligibility requirements, replacing a lost or stolen license, driver’s license renewal fees and more.
There are a number of required steps to be taken when applying to renew a California driver’s license. Gathering the necessary documents, calculating required fees, and ensuring eligibility beforehand will help simplify the process when the time comes to renew online, in person or via USPS mail.
In Person Driver’s License Renewal
What should I bring to renew my driver’s license?
To renew your California driver’s license, you will need to bring the following documents and provide the following information:
- Completed driver’s license application – Form (DL 44).
- Have driver’s license photo taken.
- Take and pass a vision test.
- Pass a written driver’s license exam should you be required.
- Pay the $35 required license renewal fee for Class A, Class B and Class C driver licenses.
Required Driver’s License Renewal Fees
How much does it cost to renew your driver’s license in California?
The required fee to renew a CA driver’s license is $35 for non-commercial Class A and Class B licenses and also $35 for Class C licenses.
Online Driver’s License Renewal
Can I renew my driver’s license online in California?
The CA DMV offers online driver’s license renewal to licensed drivers in the state of California. In order to renew online, the following eligibility requirements must be met:
- Certified Online User through the CA DMV.
- Be the person whose name was listed on the renewal noticed received via USPS mail.
- Not required change of address.
For more information and to renew your driver’s license or state ID card, visit the CA DMV online driver’s license renewal portal.
The driver license renewal notice you receive by mail will inform you as to whether you are eligible to renew your license online. To be eligible to renew your driver’s license online in California, you must meet all of the following criteria set forth by the CA DMV:
- Have a driver’s license set to expire within 60 days.
- Be under 70 years of age.
- Not have a suspended license, outstanding traffic violations, or prohibited driving privileges.
- No failed court appearances within the past 2 years.
- Not renewed your driver’s license by mail the last two times you have renewed.
- Not have an out-of-state driver’s license.Those failing to meet these eligibility requirements must renew their driver’s license in person at the local CA DMV office.
Replacing a Suspended, Lost or Expired CA Driver’s License
Renewing an Expired CA Driver’s License
If a driver’s license has been expired for a period longer than 90 days, it is not eligible to be renewed online or by mail. In this situation, an in-person visit to a CA DMV office is required.
Applicants looking to renew their driver’s license will need to visit the CA Department of Motor Vehicle office and complete a new Driver License or ID Card Application – Form DL 44.
The form can be obtained in-person at the CA DMV or by calling 1 (800) 777-0133.
Reinstating a Suspended Driver’s License in California
A suspended driver’s license will need to be reinstated before drivers are eligible to renew. This often includes paying outstanding fees, satisfying any outstanding traffic citations and waiting until the suspension period is over.
Replacing a Lost, Stolen or Damaged Driver’s License in California
If your CA driver license is lost or stolen, file a police report and also report your missing license to the CA DMV at (886) 658-5758 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
California REAL ID Driver’s License Requirements
Is my California driver’s license or state ID compliant with REAL ID federal regulations?
The CA DMV now offers federal compliant REAL ID driver licenses and state ID cards. An in person visit to a CA DMV office is required to obtain a REAL ID.
Those choosing to renew their non-compliant ID online or by mail will receive a new license that does not comply with the federal REAL ID standards.
Learn more about how to apply for a California REAL ID driver’s license or state ID card by visiting REALID.dmv.ca.gov.
Scheduling an Appointment to Renew Your License
For more information about renewing your driver’s license in California, it is recommended to directly contact the CA DMV with any questions specific to your situation.
The California state DMV website has the answers to all your questions about renewing an expire driver’s license, license renewal requirements, information on scheduling an appointment to renew and required fees.
You may contact the CA DMV by phone at 1 (800) 777-0133 or through the CA DMV website.