California DMV offices could reopen later this month with coronavirus changes

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The California Department of Motor Vehicles may be able to reopen field offices this month, but new social distancing rules will prohibit the kind of crowding customarily seen in the offices.(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The head of the California Department of Motor Vehicles said Tuesday he hopes to begin reopening field offices this month as the agency improves safeguards in response to coronavirus, but he said some activities, including on-the-road driving tests, will take longer to resume.

DMV Director Steve Gordon said he is planning to reopen the agency’s 170 field offices to in-person visits by appointment in phases, with 25 likely to open this month and all offices opening within about 30 days afterward.

“We have to go through all of the learning that we are going to do of how to [operate] in a COVID-19 world,” Gordon said during a conference call with reporters.

He said the schedule for reopening depends on approval from state health officials. Even then, customers will be asked to wear face masks and observe social-distancing rules inside the offices.

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