DMV ?- how to transfer out of state license during COVID19

Hi all, 

Not sure if anyone will have an answer to this, but I can't find it online so far, and the DMV is not answering phone calls. 

My husband and I just moved to Berkeley. We are trying to get CA drivers licenses, and change our voter registration to CA. 

All the DMV resources explain how to do this pre-COVID: go to a DMV and take a written test.  But DMV is appt only now, and everything I'm finding suggests they are not taking new appointments. 

I feel like I must be missing something, but can't figure it out... so thought there might be other parents who have run into this. 

I read that you have to get a CA license within 10 days, but maybe that will be extended due to the lack of DMV facilities? 

Thanks so much for any thoughts / support!


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Hello Jess,

You do not need an appointment for the DMV.  I have gone to the Claremont branch twice so far for my license renewal and for my son to take the permit test. Both occasions, they have staff outside to offer assistance as well.  The line can get long, but both times it did not take more that an hour.  As for voting, you should be able to register here:  I hope this helps. 

Welcome to Berkeley!

You walk in. All the information is super conflicting (phone message does not match website & portions of the website are different than others). It took being on the phone for over an hour and speaking with two different DMV representatives to figure this out.

We recently went to the Claremont DMV in Oakland to get my kids drivers permit. To make it easier, we completed the forms and uploaded all the documentation to the DMV site and specified the Claremont branch. You still have to bring all of the originals with you!  Once you complete all the steps, you’re issued a confirmation number and given a page to print that says to wait in the express appointment line. So while you don’t have a set appointment, you do get to join and much shorter and faster moving line. We waited about an hour total for him to get to the service counter and then the process moved very quickly because there really aren’t lines inside. 

Jess, I have the same problem!

I recently moved here from NYC and my license expired back in May. However, due to Covid the DMV was closed so I couldn't go in to get a CA license before it expired. The website offered outdated pre-Covid advice. I was able to call them back in May and they told me that at the time I didn't have options b/c as you noted, they weren't allowing new appointments and when they did open back up they would need to focus on rescheduling all the appointments for curing Covid that had be be cancelled. The lady told me to not worry about driving with an expired license and that if I were pulled over, they should be lenient and aware that extensions were given due to the pandemic. However I'm not sure if that extension has now run out?

I also couldn't renew my NY license (the other thing she told me to try) because in order to do so online I had to provide a NY address for them to mail my new license to. Ultimately though, she didn't know how to advise me to resolve this issue which was really frustrating.  

My brother who lives in SF told me he was able to recently go to the DMV, (they are taking walk-ins) so I'm thinking I'm going to have to just go in and explain my situation as I haven't been able to find a contact phone number to call them again (they seem to not want people calling them, given they have no phone #s clearly listed on the website). 

I would also love to know if anyone has ideas / advice on this, thanks! 


Yes!! My wife and I are having the same problem. We both just moved from NYS, and (worse yet) her license is now expired. We've had no luck getting info on how to to get a CA license. If you get any good leads please let us know.

DMV has not appointments, but the offices are open, and you can get your business done without an appointment.  You just have to go in person and wait on line.  They are enforcing social distancing, and so the offices have limited capacity so the wait can be long, especially first thing in the morning.  Later in the afternoon is a better bet.  But be forewarned:  They close at least a half hour earlier than the 5:00 closing time posted on the website and the offices, and may shut you out even earlier if you need to take the written test.  The website tells you the wait time at various offices, but I have my doubts about the accuracy.