California driver’s licenses expire every five years on the license-holder's birthday. The California Department of Motor Vehicles usually will mail a notice to let you know when it is almost time to renew. However, you may check your renewal status yourself if you prefer.
When to Renew
The expiration date is listed on the front of your driver’s license card in red print under the driver’s license number. You can renew your license as soon as 60 days before it expires, or up to 90 days after the expiration date. If you did not receive a notice in the mail from the DMV regarding your renewal, you may call the customer service line at (800) 777-0133, or look online to check the status.
If you fail to renew your license within 90 days of the expiration date, you will have to apply for a new driver’s license.
Ways to Renew
The California DMV allows renewals to be processed online, by telephone or by mail if you meet the following conditions:
- You possess a valid driver’s license.
- Your license expires within 60 days.
- You are less than 70 years old.
- Your license is not suspended.
- You do not have a driving probation.
- You have not failed to appear in court in the last two years.
- Your last two renewals were not made by mail.
- You do not have an out of state driver’s license.
If you do not meet these conditions, you must renew your license in person at a DMV office.
The current renewal fee, as of this publication, is $34. You may pay by credit card if renewing online, by telephone or in person. A check or money order is accepted by mail or in person.
Once your license has been renewed, you will receive a temporary card to carry with your current license. Your new permanent driver’s license should arrive in the mail within 90 days. If you do not receive the new license within three months, call the California DMV customer service line to inquire.
Contact the California DMV
To renew your driver’s license online, by telephone or by mail, contact the DMV in the following respective ways.
- Online: Visit the California DMV registration website.
- Telephone: Call the DMV customer service line at (800)
- Mail: Department of Motor Vehicles, ATTN: Renewal By Mail
Unit, P.O. Box 942890, Sacramento, CA 94290