Thursday, February 29, 2024

Here’s what you need to know if your driver’s license has expired – or about to expire during the pandemic

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Some people have not renewed their driver’s license in person before the expiration date because of the coronavirus pandemic concerns.

So how are local law enforcement agencies addressing this issue Are they charging people with expired driver’s licenses or making exceptions because of the coronavirus?

It depends on the expiration date.

“We are not charging individuals with expired driver’s licenses if they fall within the extensions outlined by Gov. (Ralph) Northam,” James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams wrote in an email, linking to the Department of Motor Vehicles website.

Shelley Ward, spokeswoman for York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office, said deputies are also not charging people for expired licenses, unless their license has been expired for a year or longer.

They also have not seen much of an increase of expired licenses during the pandemic.

But in the city limits of Williamsburg, the police department does not have a policy regarding a “grace period” for expired licenses, said Williamsburg Police spokesman John Heilman.

“We gave our officers no specific directive, but all officers use appropriate discretion when encountering driver license violations,” Heilman wrote in an email.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the department has issued one summons for an expired drivers license, he said.

Northam closed all DMV locations in March for a month because of the pandemic.

Per the closure, those with driver’s licenses, learner’s permits, special ID cards and vehicle credential such as registration, expiring between March 15 and July 31 would have up to 180 additional days with a deadline of Oct. 31 to renew.

But if the driver’s licenses, ID cards and learner’s permits expired between Aug. 1 and Oct. 31, the date was extended by 60 days.

“Additionally, driver’s licenses, identification cards and learner’s permits which display an expiration date between November 1, 2020 and November 29, 2020, are extended to November 30, 2020,” according to DMV’s website. “This extension does not apply to previously extended credentials with original expiration dates between March 15, 2020 and July 31, 2020 as well as commercial driver’s licenses.”

Do you need to renew your license now? Check out the expiration dates below from the DMV website:

  • March 15-April 30: 180 days to renew.
  • May 1-July 31: 180 days to renew, deadline to renew is Oct. 30.
  • Aug. 1- Oct. 31: 60 days to renew.
  • Nov. 1-29: deadline to renew is through Nov. 30.

How to renew your license

A new DMV online option postpones the requirement for as many as 500,000 Virginians to visit in person for appointment service through 2021.

A new service, launched because of the effects of the ongoing pandemic, gives customers the opportunity to get a new two-year driver’s license or ID card by applying through its website, 

DMV is currently notifying customers eligible for the two-year renewal by their preferred contact methods. Customers opting for the two-year renewal who had already made DMV appointments are urged to cancel the appointments, so they have more availability for people who have to come in.

Customers ineligible for this new two-year renewal option because of statutory requirements. include those who: 

  • hold a limited duration license issued for one year or for a period of authorized stay in the U.S.,
  • are required to register in accordance with Va. Code Chapter 9 or Title 9.1, or
  • have a school bus endorsement

Those who would like to renew their credential for five or eight years, or need a REAL ID compliant credential, must make an appointment for in-person service.

 For more information, click here.

WYDaily reporters Julia Marsigliano, Gabrielle Rente and Annie Gallo contributed to this report.


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