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February 2, 2023

Go online to avoid long lines

Many DMV services available through web
Waiting in a queue at the Department of Motor Vehicles is a
thing of the past for many transactions. New state laws and
technological innovations are changing the way the DMV does
business
In 2006, the DMV expanded many of its online services to make
DMV business more convenient to California drivers.
Many DMV services available through web

Waiting in a queue at the Department of Motor Vehicles is a thing of the past for many transactions. New state laws and technological innovations are changing the way the DMV does business

In 2006, the DMV expanded many of its online services to make DMV business more convenient to California drivers.

“We’re very proud of what we have accomplished during 2006 by utilizing technology to better serve our customers,” said George Valverde, director of the DMV. “We will continue to develop new and improved ways to provide our services during 2007.”

The notoriously long waits at the DMV can be avoided by visiting the Web site. Online users can register their vehicles without stepping out of their homes. Vehicle registration through the Web has been available for several years through certain insurance companies such as the California State Automobile Association. More than 10 million drivers have registered their cars online since the online option became available. Three million people registered in the last eight months.

A new law passed in California, SB 1500, during 2006 now requires all private insurance policies to be reported to the DMV electronically, making more vehicles eligible for online registration.

Renewing driver’s licenses can be done online for those who don’t need to take a test and personalized license plates can be ordered. DMV provides the option of using credit cards for payment or electronic checks. Those who renew online receive their registration and license plate tags through the mail in two to three weeks.

Another new feature launched in 2006 is the option to set up appointment times online or by phone. Visitors can set up an appointment for up to three transactions at a time.

For 2007, the department has plans to continue making services more convenient. They have already tested 12 self-service terminals since May in southern California locations. The terminals, some of which are outside and accessible seven days a week, 24 hours a day, allow for vehicle registration and some other transactions. The DMV will continue to add more of the terminals to DMV offices throughout California.

At the terminals, customers receive their updated registration cards and license plate tags within seconds.

Under a new state law, the DMV has partnered with Donate Life California, an effort to increase organ donors in the state. Under the program, anyone who checks “yes” to being a donor when they renew a driver license or identification card is automatically submitted to the state’s official organ and tissue donor registry. More than one million donors were added through DMV in 2006.

In addition to the services, the DMV Web site has many resources as well. The site includes information for teen and senior drivers as well as sample written drivers’ tests. DMV forms can be downloaded and filled out for those transactions that do require a visit to the office.

In other news for drivers, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that prohibits the use of handheld mobile phones while driving. The new law will not go into effect until July 1, 2008. Drivers will be fined $20 for a first offense and $50 for each subsequent offense. Using a wireless phone with a hands-free device is still legal. Wireless telephones can also be used for emergency purposes until July 1, 2011. Drivers of emergency vehicles are exempt from the law.

For online services, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

Melissa Flores can be reached at [email protected]

Melissa Flores
A staff member edited this provided article.

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