The California Department of Motor Vehicles provides a number of important services to California residents. The vast majority of people living in California will need to visit the DMV at least once in their life, in order to obtain a driver’s license or a Real ID, which will be necessary to board airplanes beginning in 2020. The dmv locations also provide services related to registering vehicles, personalizing license plates, and applying for a disabled person placard.
Depending on what service you need, the paperwork requirements will vary. Driver’s license and Real ID applicants need to bring certified documents that show your identity, birth date, and full name, such as your birth certificate or passport.
People who want to register their vehicles or transfer title need to bring their Certificate of Title (pink slip), the odometer disclosure if the vehicle is less than ten years old, the smog certification, and the appropriate transfer fee.
General DMV business hours are from 8 am to 5 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, while offices are open from 9 am to 5 pm on Wednesday. Nearly 70 offices have extended office hours, opening at 7 am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays.
Although all office locations are closed on Sundays, more than 60 DMV field offices are open from 8 am to 5 pm on Saturdays, in order to provide services to people who work during the week.
All DMV field offices are closed during state holidays, including July 4 for Independence Day, November 11 for Veteran’s Day, and the entire Thanksgiving weekend from Thursday to Sunday. These days may affect Saturday hours, so be sure to call the DMV at (800)777-0133 to confirm whether they are open before going in.
Avoiding the Line
Depending on what you need to do at the DMV, you might be able to avoid a long wait by making an appointment ahead of time. This service allows you to schedule a time to:
- Apply for, or renew, a driver’s license or identification card
- Apply for a disabled person placard
- Pick up personalized plates
- Transfer vehicle titles, and
- Take a driving test, including a commercial driving test.
DMV visitors who require an interpreter should schedule an appointment in advance, to ensure that a foreign language interpreter is available. Interpretation is available in ten different languages at no additional cost.
The DMV also offers a number of online services, which you can apply for from the comfort of home. These services include:
- Renewing your driver’s license or identification card
- Requesting your driver’s record
- Renewing your vehicle registration
- Replacing a sticker or registration card
- Ordering special interest or personalized license plates
- Changing your address, and
- Registering to vote.
Finally, the DMV has also created a number of self-service kiosks, which are stationed at field offices and retail locations around the state. These DMV Now kiosks do not provide as many services as in-person field offices, but they do allow customers to complete vehicle registration renewal without waiting in line.
In order to use a DMV Now kiosk, you will need to bring the 8.5” x 11” renewal notice the DMV sends each year. DMV Now kiosks accept cash, credit cards, and debit cards. Once you complete the registration process, the DMV Now kiosk will instantly provide your new registration sticker.
DMV Locations in Northern California
The California DMV has nearly 180 locations across the state. The DMV provides a complete list of field offices online as well as a list of self-service DMV NOW kiosks at field offices and retail locations for vehicle registration
Here are the field office locations in cities in Northern California served by the attorneys at Freeman & Freeman:
160 Serrano Drive
Fairfield, CA 94533
2550 Napa Valley Corporate Drive
Napa, CA 94558
715 – J Southpoint Boulevard
Petaluma, CA 94954
6300 W Las Positas Blvd
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Sacramento, CA 95820
2570 Corby Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
111 W. Alma Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110
200 Couch Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
825 East St
Suite 306, CA 95776
Have a Trusted Attorney on your Side
The DMV is an important partner throughout your traveling days. The Law Offices of Freeman & Freeman is another important partner, helping drivers in Northern California stay safe since 1975. If you need legal assistance please contact us by calling 705-575-7141 today.