The remaining California DMV field offices that were shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic will reopen this Thursday, but with limited services available and only to those with appointments, officials announced Tuesday.
About one-third of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s 169 field offices have already been reopened with modifications since the full closure was implemented in late March to combat the burgeoning public health crisis.
DMV services will resume again for customers who have existing appointments, as well as those who require an in-person visit, according to a news release from the agency.
But customers who do not need to conduct their business at a DMV location are still urged to do so online, through a virtual field office or at one of the agency’s kiosks.
“Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said in the release. ” To keep wait times down and to maintain public health guidelines, I ask you to only visit a DMV office when absolutely necessary and to come prepared.”
The in-person services offered include reinstating a driver license that was suspended or revoked, applying for a reduced or no-fee identification card, commercial driver license transactions and vehicle verifications, among others.
Customers using the “DMV Express” option can have their REAL ID transactions processed as well, time and space permitting. The agency reminded Californians that the deadline has been extended a year, to Oct. 1, 2021.
(A full list of services currently available at the DMV can be found here)
Behind-the-wheel driving tests, however, will not resume yet because of social distancing concerns, according to officials.
Safeguards will be in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus, such as mask and physical distancing requirements of at least 6 feet for both customers and employees. Hand-washing stations will be available to customers at select locations, while employees will have access to hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water, facial shields and gloves, the release stated.
Customers will also be allowed to wait outside and receive a text message when they are ready to be served.
Credit card and digital wallet payments options have been expanded at all field offices as another precaution.
The DMV is prioritizing anyone who had an appointment that was canceled due to the closure. After those are rescheduled, a limited number of new appointments will start being offered, according to the DMV.
Officials hope that all services will be available to customers with and without appointments in the coming weeks, the release stated.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and act in the best interest of our customers and employees,” Gordon said.