Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles is temporarily suspending behind-the-wheel driving tests for at least two weeks beginning December 14. The DMV is taking this step for the health and safety of customers and employees during the current statewide surge in COVID-19 cases.
“Behind-the-wheel drive tests require two people to share space in one vehicle and – while we have made numerous changes to safeguard the testing process – the current surge in COVID-19 cases presents increased risk to both parties,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “While our field offices remain open to serve the public, we hope customers will first go online to take care of their DMV needs.”
In-vehicle testing is a requirement for first-time driver’s license holders and commercial license applicants. The temporary suspension includes commercial and noncommercial tests but does not apply to motorcycle drive tests, which can be conducted at a safe distance.
Customers with scheduled appointments in the next two weeks will be notified their tests are canceled. The DMV will automatically reschedule the tests at a later date.
DMV drive test examiners will be redirected to assist with other customer transactions.
The DMV previously suspended drive tests for three months beginning in mid-March. The DMV resumed administering behind-the-wheel tests in June with safety protocols in place, including required face coverings, temperature checks, cracked windows for increased air circulation and seat covers.
Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit, including those interested in applying for a REAL ID. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has announced that the REAL ID enforcement date is October 1, 2021, and customers who want a REAL ID will have an opportunity to apply at a later date.
To protect customers and employees, the DMV requires everyone who enters the DMV to wear a face covering, physically distance 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.
The DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services at https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv-online/, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals.
Nearly all Californians can now renew their driver’s license online – even if the renewal notice states an office visit is required. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.