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California Department of Motor Vehicles

Frequently Asked Questions


  1. What is Driver License Renewal-by-Internet?
  2. Why is DMV providing this new service?
  3. How do I become eligible to renew by Internet?
  4. What are the hours for renewing by Internet?
  5. What is a Renewal Identification Number (RIN)?
  6. If I lost my Renewal by Mail (RBM) Notice with my RIN, can I call and have another RIN sent to me?
  7. Can I renew my driver license by Internet if I have a change of address at the same time?
  8. What information can I change when renewing by Internet?
  9. If I prefer to renew by mail, is that option still available?
  10. My driver license expires soon. Can I still renew by Internet if I'm eligible?
  11. Can I replace a lost or stolen license by Internet?
  12. Why can't everyone renew by Internet?
  13. Can I cancel my application after I finish the Internet transaction?
  14. When I renew by Internet, do I get a new license?
  15. How will I get my driver license if I renew by Internet? How long does it take? Can it be sent by express mail?
  16. What types of driver licenses can I renew by Internet?
  17. Will I need to take a test to renew my driver license by Internet?
  18. Can I use the confirmation (or acknowledgment) screen as proof that I'm legal to drive?
  19. Can I renew another person's driver license over the Internet?
  20. How much does it cost to renew my Driver License? Can I use my debit card?
  21. Is there an additional fee for renewing by Internet?
  22. Will my credit card be protected? How secure is the website?
  23. Will I be charged a late fee if I renew by Internet after my driver license expires?
  24. I have a commercial driver license and surrendered my driver license when I moved from another state to California five years ago, do I have to complete the 10 Year Record History Check form (DL 939) to renew my commercial driver license by mail?
Physical & Mental FAQs
  1. Should temporary conditions, such as a broken bone or being pregnant, be reported?
  2. Do I need to report Lasik or similar vision surgery?
  3. I just got new glasses. Do I need to let DMV know?
  4. I recently felt faint. Should I report this to DMV?
  5. My doctor told me I have diabetes that can be controlled by oral medication or diet. Must I report this to DMV?
  6. I have a disability. Do I need to report this to DMV?




1Q. What is Driver License Renewal-by-Internet?
1A. The Driver License Renewal-by-Internet allows applicants who are eligible to renew their Driver License by mail, and meet certain other criteria, the ability to renew over the Internet.


2Q. Why is DMV providing this new service?
2A. DL Renewal-by-Internet was implemented to provide our customers with another convenient way of doing business with the department.


3Q. How do I become eligible to renew by Internet?

3A. You have to be eligible for renewal by mail and:
  • Have access to the Internet
  • Have a renewal notice with a special Renewal Identification Number (RIN)
  • Not have a change of address or change of personal description
  • Have a verified Social Security Number (SSN) on DMV record (since October 2000, DMV verifies SSNs with the Social Security Administration)
  • Have a valid credit card

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4Q. What are the hours for renewing by Internet?
4A. You can renew your driver license 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!


5Q. What is a Renewal Identification Number (RIN)?
5A. A Renewal Identification Number (RIN) is assigned to those individuals eligible to renew by Internet and serves as a unique identifier allowing access to the transaction. Your RIN number can be found on the right hand side of your renewal notice.


6Q. If I lost my Renewal by Mail (RBM) Notice with my RIN, can I call and have another RIN sent to me?
6A. No, DMV cannot issue you another RIN. If you lose your RBM Notice you can go to http://www.dmv.ca.gov and print a copy of the RBM Notice Form (DL 410 FO) and renew your driver license by mail.


7Q. Can I renew my driver license by Internet if I have a change of address at the same time?
7A. No. A change of address is not accepted as part of the driver license renewal by internet process. This is for your security and protection. If you have a change of address, enter your current address on your renewal notice and renew your driver license by mail.


8Q. What information can I change when renewing by Internet?
8A. For security purposes, no changes can be made (to your address, date of birth, physical description or class of license).


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9Q. If I prefer to renew by mail, is that option still available?
9A. Yes, renewal by mail is still available.


10Q. My driver license expires soon. Can I still renew by Internet if I'm eligible?
10A. Yes. Allow up to 10 days for processing after completing your Internet transaction.


11Q. Can I replace a lost or stolen license by Internet?
11A. Not at this time.


12Q. Why can't everyone renew by Internet?
12A. Only those who receive a Renewal by Mail Notice with a RIN can renew by Internet. See "How Do I Become Eligible to renew by Internet?" question.


13Q. Can I cancel my application after I finish the Internet transaction?
13A. No. Once your Internet transaction is complete, it cannot be canceled. Allow up to 10 days for processing.


14Q. When I renew by Internet, do I get a new license?
14A. Yes. Your new driver license with the most recent photo on file will be mailed to you. Allow up to 10 days for processing after completing your Internet transaction.


15Q. How will I get my driver license if I renew by Internet? How long does it take? Can it be sent by express mail?
15A. Your driver license will be mailed to you. Allow up to 10 days for processing after completing your Internet transaction. Driver licenses cannot be sent by express mail.


16Q. What types of driver licenses can I renew by Internet?
16A. As long as you meet the eligibility requirements, you can renew your driver license by Internet for the same class of license you currently have.


17Q. Will I need to take a test to renew my driver license by Internet?
17A. No. Since you are eligible to renew by Internet, you are not required to take any tests.


18Q. Can I use the confirmation (or acknowledgment) screen as proof that I'm legal to drive?
18A. No. The confirmation receipt is only for your records and cannot be used as proof of having a license to drive.


19Q. Can I renew another person's driver license over the Internet?
19A. No. You may renew only your own driver license.


20Q. How much does it cost to renew my Driver License? Can I use my debit card?
20A. The fee for renewing your driver license over the Internet is the amount shown on your renewal by mail notice. A debit card can be used only if it shows one of the credit card symbols. You will NOT be asked for your PIN number.

image of credit cards

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21Q. Is there an additional fee for renewing by Internet?
21A. No. There is no additional fee for renewing by Internet.


22Q. Will my credit card be protected? How secure is the website?.
22A. Yes. Your information is encrypted and DMV has firewalls in place to ensure that your financial information remains private. For more information: DMV's Internet Privacy Statement.


23Q. Will I be charged a late fee if I renew by Internet after my driver license expires?
23A. No. There is no late fee associated with a driver license renewal whether you renew it by Internet, in person or through the mail. Please be aware that it's not legal to drive with an expired driver license.

24Q. I have a commercial driver license and surrendered my driver license when I moved from another state to California five years ago, do I have to complete the 10 Year Record History Check form (DL 939) to renew my commercial driver license by mail?
24A. Yes.  The Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999, and applicable Federal Regulations requires all commercial driver license applicants including renewal applications to disclose whether he or she has been issued a driver license in the same or different name to operate any type of motor vehicle in another state or other jurisdiction within the previous ten years. 


Physical & Mental FAQs

The following questions and answers are intended as a guide to assist you in determining whether to answer "yes" or "no" to certain questions. They should be used only as guidelines, because no one knows your medical condition better than you. Generally, if your condition is likely to impair your ability to drive safely you should report it to DMV.

1Q. Should temporary conditions, such as a broken bone or being pregnant, be reported?
1A. Temporary conditions that do not affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle do not need to be reported. Temporary conditions that do affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, a broken right leg for example, do not need to be reported; however, you should not drive until it is safe to do so


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2Q. Do I need to report Lasik or similar vision surgery?
2A. DMV's vision screening standard is at least 20/40 when both eyes are tested together, and at least 20/70 in the weaker eye. If you recently had surgery to correct one eye for distance and the other for close-up vision, you may not meet the screening standard, and must renew your driver license in person at a DMV office.


3Q. I just got new glasses. Do I need to let DMV know?
3A. Unless you no longer meet DMV's screening standard (see Question #2 above), routine changes in eyeglass prescriptions do not need to be reported to DMV.


4Q. I recently felt faint. Should I report this to DMV?
4A. Feeling faint or light-headed due to a temporary illness, or due to not eating for an extended period, do not normally need to be reported. Medical conditions that can cause a loss of consciousness or a loss of physical control do need to be reported.


5Q. My doctor told me I have diabetes that can be controlled by oral medication or diet. Must I report this to DMV?
5A. You do not need to report this to DMV, unless you are diagnosed as requiring insulin, have difficulty with physical control, have a related vision problem such as retinopathy, or it affects your ability to drive safely.


6Q. I have a disability. Do I need to report this to DMV?
6A. If you have recently become disabled, and the condition affects your ability to drive safely, you must renew your driver license in-person. You may be required to take a behind-the-wheel driving test to demonstrate that you can compensate for the disability. Disabilities that cannot get worse over time, e. g. loss of limb or loss of an eye, and do not prevent you from driving safely, do not have to be reported as long as the condition was previously reported to DMV.