- Location: California
Renewing Your License in California
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Renewing Your Driver’s License in California
When your driver’s license expires in California, you need to renew your license with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
On this page you’ll find information on renewing your driver license online, by mail, by phone, and in person.
If you need to renew your commercial driver license (CDL), please see our Renewing Your CDL in California page.
If you need to renew your CA identification (ID) card, please see our Identification Cards in California page.
Your California drivers license expires every 5 years on your birthday.
The CA DMV will mail you a renewal notice about 2 months before the expiration date.
Depending on your driver’s license status (valid, expired, suspended, or lost/damaged), you can renew either:
- By mail.
- By phone.
- In person.
To be eligible for online, by phone and by mail renewals, you must:
- Have a driver license that expires within 60 days.
- Be less than 70 years old.
- Not have a suspended license or driving probation.
- Not have failed to appear in court within the past 2 years.
- Not made your last 2 renewals by mail.
- Not hold an out-of-state driver’s license.
NOTE: Your California drivers license renewal notice will inform you if you qualify to renew online, by phone, or by mail.
After renewing, you will receive a 90-day temporary card to use until you receive your permanent CA drivers license.
If you don’t receive your permanent CA driver license within 60 days, call the CA DMV at (800) 777-0133.
Valid Driver’s License
If you hold a valid driver license, you’ll be able to renew it up to:
- 6 months before your expiration.
- 90 days after your expiration.
NOTE: You can renew in person more than 6 months before your CA driver license expires, but you’ll need to submit your current driver’s license to the California DMV for cancellation.
Expired Driver’s License
You cannot renew your California driver license more than 90 days after it has expired.
You’ll need to visit your local CA Department of Motor Vehicle office and complete a new Driver License or Identification Card Application (form DL 44).
Get the form at the CA DMV office, or have the form mailed to you by calling (800) 777-0133.
Suspended Driver’s License
If your CA driver license has been suspended, you’ll need to reinstate your driving privileges before you can renew it.
For more information, please see our Suspended License in California page.
Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Driver’s License
If your CA driver license is lost or stolen, you should report it to the CA DMV at (886) 658-5758 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on getting a replacement card, please see our Replacing a Lost License in California page.
If your lost, stolen, or damaged California driver’s license is due for renewal, you can renew it instead of applying for a replacement card using the appropriate method listed below.
You can renew your CA drivers license online if:
- You are not changing your address.
- Your Social Security number (SSN) is on file with the California DMV.
You will need to first register for the CA DMV online services by visiting the registration website.
Once you’ve registered, log in to renew your driver’s license online. You’ll need a credit/debit card or your bank account information to pay the $32 renewal fee.
To renew your California driver license by mail, you can either complete:
- The renewal notice you received in the mail.
- A California Driver License Renewal By Mail Eligibility Information form (DL 410 FO).
Mail your completed application and check/money order for the $32 renewal fee to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
ATTN: Renewal By Mail Unit
PO Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290–0001
To renew your California driver’s license by phone, call the number on your renewal notice.
- The Renewal Identification Number (RIN) that appears on your renewal notice.
- A credit/debit card to pay the $32 renewal fee.
You must renew your California driver’s license in person if:
- You are 70 years old or older.
- Your driver license will expire in more than 60 days.
- Your last 2 renewals were not completed in person.
- You need to take a written test.
Visit a CA DMV office and:
- Complete a Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44).
- Get the form in person or by calling the DMV at (800) 777-0133.
- Provide your thumbprint.
- Have your picture taken.
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass a written exam, if necessary.
- Pay the $32 renewal fee.
NOTE: If you are required to take a written knowledge test, you will need to answer 18 questions. You need 15 correct answers to pass, and you have up to 3 attempts.
Out-of-State CA Residents
If you will be out of state when your California driver’s license expires, you can request a 1-year extension for free.
Before your CA driver’s license expires, write a letter requesting the extension and include your:
- Full name.
- CA driver license number.
- Date of birth.
- California address.
- Out-of-state address.
Send the letter to:
PO Box 942890
Sacramento, CA 94290-0001
If you are an active military member, your expired California driver’s license will remain valid for 30 days after your honorable discharge, regardless of the expiration date. Your spouse’s CA driver’s license will also remain valid during this time.
If your California driver license has expired, you need to update your driving record with the CA DMV by calling (916) 657-7790.
You will receive an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces card (DL 236).
If you are a military member’s dependent and your license is expiring, you can either:
- Request a 1-year expiration date extension. (See above.)
- Renew your CA driver’s license by calling (916) 657–7790.
If you are a non-U.S. citizen with a temporary CA driver’s license, you’ll need to provide updated birth date and legal presence documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles will mail you extension instructions before your temporary license expires.Other Topics in This Section