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Can Californians Renew Drivers License Online?

Written by: Ryan Reid
Last updated: March 25, 2024

Renewing your driver's license in California can be an overwhelming task, especially if you're too busy to visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Because of this, many drivers often ponder this question: Can Californians renew driver's license online?

Obtaining a new driver's license online in California can save you time and effort, allowing you to skip the lines at the DMV. This in-depth guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully complete your online renewal process, ensuring you stay road-legal without any hassle.

Can I Renew My Driver's License Online in California?

Yes, Californians can renew their driver's licenses online through the California DMV website. Online driver's license renewal is available for eligible drivers and can be completed in just a few simple steps.

To renew your driver's license online, you'll need to provide your driver's license number, date of birth, and the last four digits of your Social Security number. You'll also need to pay the renewal fee by credit card, debit card, or electronic check.

Eligibility For Online Renewal of Driver's License

It's important to note that not all California drivers are eligible for online driver's license renewal.  Before starting your online renewal, it's essential to determine if you're eligible. You can renew your driver's license online in California if:

  • Your license is not expired, suspended, or revoked.

  • You have not made any changes to your personal information since your last renewal.

  • You haven't had a renewal or extension through the mail or the internet in the past two renewal cycles.

  • You don't have any outstanding traffic tickets or unpaid fees.

  • You're not required to take a written or driving test.

Additionally, if you're under 70 years of age and have already renewed your license by mail or online two consecutive times, you'll need to visit a DMV office in person to renew your license.

Documents Required for Online Renewal

To renew your driver's license online, you'll need the following documents:

  • Proof of identity: Present a valid passport, birth certificate, or other government-issued identification.

  • Proof of residency: Submit a utility bill, bank statement, or rental agreement that confirms your California address.

  • Social Security Number: Provide your social security number to verify your identity.

Step-By-Step Guide on Renewing License Online

Once you’ve checked your eligibility and secured your requirements, it’s time to visit the California DMV website and start the process.

Step 1: Create an Online Account

To renew your driver's license online, you'll need to create an account with the California DMV website. Visit the DMV website, click on "Online Services," and then select "Driver License Renewal." Follow the prompts to create your account using your personal information and email address.

Step 2: Complete the Application Form

Once your account is set up, you can start the renewal process by completing the online application form. Be sure to provide accurate and up-to-date information, as this will be used to update your driver's license record.

Step 3: Pay the Renewal Fee

After completing the application form, you'll be directed to the payment page, where you can pay the renewal fee using a credit or debit card. The fee varies depending on the type of license you hold and any additional endorsements.

Step 4: Take Vision and Knowledge Tests

Some applicants may need to take a vision test to ensure they meet the minimum vision requirements for driving in California. If required, visit an authorized vision test provider and submit the results online.

If you're required to take a knowledge test, you can complete it online through your DMV account. The test covers California's traffic laws, road signs, and safe driving practices. Study the California Driver Handbook and take practice tests to prepare.

Step 5: Upload Supporting Documents

You may need to upload scanned copies or photos of your supporting documents, such as proof of identity and residency, to your online application. Ensure the images are clear and legible before submitting them.

Step 6: Finalize and Submit the Application

Before submitting your application, review all the information you've provided to ensure accuracy. Once you're satisfied, click on "Submit," and your application will be sent to the DMV for processing. You'll receive a confirmation email with your application number and instructions on how to track your renewal status.

Step 7: Receive Your New Driver's License

If your renewal application is approved, you'll receive your new driver's license by mail within a few weeks. Ensure that the address on file with the DMV is correct to avoid any delays or lost mail. You can also check the status of your driver's license renewal online.

Important Reminders and Tips

  • Allow ample time for processing and mailing when renewing your driver's license online.

  • Keep your personal information up-to-date to ensure hassle-free renewals in the future.

  • If you're unsure about your eligibility for online renewal, contact the DMV customer service for clarification.

  • Always study the California Driver Handbook and practice safe driving practices to stay informed and avoid accidents.


Renewing your driver's license online in California is a convenient and time-saving option that's available to eligible applicants. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully renew your driver's license online and stay road-legal without the hassle of visiting a DMV office in person.

Renewing your driver's license online can save you time and effort, but did you know that there are other government programs that offer assistance to low-income families? One such program is the free government cell phones for low-income families initiative.

Visit Gov Relations today to learn more about government programs and resources that can help you and your family!

Ryan Reid
Ryan Reid is a dedicated social worker with a passion for improving the lives of vulnerable individuals and families in his community. With a bachelor's degree in Social Work from a reputable university, Ryan has spent over a decade working in various roles within the social services sector. His expertise lies in assessing the needs of at-risk populations, connecting them with essential resources, and advocating for their rights. Ryan's compassionate approach and unwavering commitment to social justice make him a trusted advocate for those in need of government assistance and support.
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