Everything you need to know about your California Driver License Renewal

Wondering what you need and how you can renew your California Driver’s License? Read on!

Here are some basic facts on your driver’s license:

  • Your California drivers license expires every 5 years on your birthday (or the date you’re legally authorized to stay in USA until)
  • You can renew your California driver’s license up to 60 days before expiration – the California DMV will mail you a renewal notice 2 months before the expiration
  • You cannot renew your license once the expiration date has passed
  • You can renew your driver’s license online, in-person or by mail depending on the status of your driver’s license (valid, expired, lost) and your age – each renewal process is outlined below

How do you renew your driver’s license online?

You are eligible for online renewal if you:

  • Hold a valid driver’s license that is expiring within 3 days
  • Not changing your address
  • Have your SSN on file with the California DMV
  • Did not renew your license not in person the past 2 times
  • Do not need to take the written test
  • Are not a senior driver (70 years old or older)

To renew online:

  • Register for the CA DMV online services here
  • Login to renew your driver’s license
  • Pay a $35 renewal fee.

How do you renew your driver’s license in person?

You must renew in person if you are 70 years old or older, your license will expire in more than 60 days, your last 2 renewals were not completed in person, or you need to take a written test.

To renew in person:

  • Schedule a DMV appointment to renew driver’s license option
  • Bring your required documents to your appointment
    • For US citizens, these include:
    • Identification documents and proof of legal presence: California state ID
    • SSN
    • 2 proofs of California residency – mortgage or utility bills (including phone bills), rental or lease agreement, bank statements
    • (If applicable) Legal documents stating name change
    • $35 renewal fee in cash or debit

How do you renew your driver’s license by mail?

You are eligible for mail renewal if:

  • Your license is expiring within 60 days
  • Do not need to take the written test
  • Are not a senior driver (70 years old or older)

To renew your license over mail:

  • Complete the renewal notice that the California DMV will mail you around 60 days before your license expires or; DL 410 FO: California Driver License Renewal By Mail Eligibility Information form
  • Prepare a $35 renewal fee check and write your license number on the back
  • Mail your renewal notice or FL 410 FO and the check to:
    • Department of Motor Vehicles
      ATTN: Renewal By Mail Unit
      P.O. Box 942890
      Sacramento, CA 94290

What if my California driver’s license is expired, suspended or lost?

  • For an license past its expiration date, you cannot renew it. You will need to apply for a new California driver’s license, in-person. Schedule an appointment with the DMV to cut down on your waiting time – we can even help you find express appointments within 1-2 weeks. Remember to bring your expired driver’s license, so your road test is more likely to be waived.
  • For a suspended driver’s license, you’ll need to get your driving privileges back before you can renew. You can find out more information here.
  • For a lost or stolen driver’s license, first click here to report your missing ID to the CA DMV via their email address. If you’re lost, stolen, or damaged card is up for renewal, you can use the above methods to renew it.

🚀 Pro-Tip: Always make a DMV appointment. We can even find quick options for you.

3 Comments

  • Mary Tanquary

    Out of country when renewal notice mailed to home. Upon return not able to get an appt until after expiration date of license. Can I go to the local DMV and wait for an appointment?

    • weiting

      Yes, you can, but be wary of the long wait times when you walk into a DMV! You should consider making an express appointment (within 2 weeks) through us – click Get a DMV appointment above to learn more!

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