Skip the DMV visit. You can now complete these services online

WESTMINSTER, CA - AUGUST 13: DMV staffer Kathy Cao, left, distributes numbers among the people lined up for DMV to open on Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 in Westminster, CA. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
DMV employee Kathy Cao, left, distributes numbers among the people lined up for DMV to open in Westminster in August 2020. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Loathe the mundane white walls, the intercom voice flatly saying "now serving," and the plastic chairs that hold you uncomfortably close to strangers while you wait an eternity to renew your driver's license?

The Department of Motor Vehicles feels your pain, and wants you to complete this and other important tasks from the comfort of your home.

Actually, you won't have any choice — these services will only be available remotely.

As part of a self-declared "customer-focused digital transformation," the DMV is expanding its digital services and will no longer process simple transactions in its offices.

Starting June 3, the department's website,, will be the primary way to obtain the following services:

  • Simple vehicle registration renewals that are not past the due date.

  • Driver's license renewals that do not require an in-person visit (drivers age 70 and older are among those who will still have to go into a DMV office to renew).

  • Requests for copies of vehicle registration records, which show a vehicle's ownership history.

  • Requests for copies of driver's license records, which show a driver's history.

  • Requests to replace a lost or stolen driver's license/identification card.

These services can also be accessed by mailing the required paperwork to the DMV or calling the department. In some cases they can be done through a DMV kiosk.

If you go to your local DMV office, the staff will not process these services in person but rather point you to their website or alternative "out-of-office" options.

By moving these services online, the DMV expects office visits to decrease by 200,000 customers a month, or about 2.4 million a year.

The change comes just before the start of the summer season, when office visits to the DMV peak, DMV director Steve Gordon said in a statement.

"We know it’s just going to get worse in our offices with lines and wait times unless our customers help by going online first,” Gordon said. “Help us help you. Always try online first and use the other convenient channels we have made available for you to easily take care of DMV business.”

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.