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For generations, the California Department of Motor Vehicles has been a crucible of nerves for teens anxious to complete the rite of passage that is a first driver’s license, older residents hoping to keep theirs and most everyone in between.

Never a day at the beach, with sometimes cartoonishly long lines, a visit to one of its offices has nevertheless been essential.

Now, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency is rethinking the way it operates.

In an effort to keep people from getting infected with or spreading the coronavirus, the department since March has expanded its DMV Express program statewide to speed up the Real ID process and allowed for vehicle title transfers, registrations, duplicate driver’s licenses and driver’s license renewals and other services to be completed online.

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