Beginning March 27, all of California’s DMV offices have been closed, and it is unknown when they will open again. These closures are a safety measure to protect the employees of the DMV as well as the citizens from COVID-19. On April 2, the DMV began offering online alternatives to continue to serve Californians.
“The DMV will gradually add more transactions to continue to provide alternatives to an in-person office visit,” the California DMV website said in a statement.
As a result, the DMV and state laws are adapting to fit these unique circumstances. If your driver’s license or vehicle registration has expired in the past 60 days, you will not be fined or punished like you previously would. This adaptation ensures that in office appointments will not need to take place.
Additionally, the DMV stated on their website that they are “canceling all behind-the-wheel drive tests to honor social distancing guidelines.”
The result of this closure is immensely disappointing to many high school students who are seeking to obtain their driver’s licenses.
Sophomore Kate Christian is amongst this group who is no longer able to obtain their driver’s licenses. Christian had her appointment scheduled in May and needed to complete two more behind-the-wheel lessons with a driver’s education instructor before her test. Both of these were canceled in light of COVID-19 and shelter-in-place guidelines.
“It really sucks because I was really hoping I would be able to drive myself places this summer instead of asking my mom for a ride. The same goes for most of my friends — we were hoping that we would be able to go on trips to Santa Cruz and the beach. So I am really bummed that I won’t have that ability,” Christian said.
The impacts of COVID-19 are apparent in all areas of our society, and the DMV’s closure is simply one of the side effects of the epidemic. It is hoped that with strict shelter-in-place rules, the DMV and other public services will be reopening soon.