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DMV to temporarily close all offices beginning Friday

Coronavirus

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The Department of Motor Vehicles said it will temporarily close all field offices and canceling all scheduled appointments beginning Friday because of coronavirus concerns.

The department said online services will remain available at its website, through the mail and at available kiosks. Its phone lines will remain available during business hours at 1-800-777-0133 or via chat at its website.

The DMV said it will reopen on April 2 with “virtual” services. Officials said employees have been training on a DMV Virtual Field Office since Monday.

In a statement from the DMV Thursday night, the department said customers can begin vehicle title transfers and “complex” registration renewals at the virtual field office website — virtual.dmv.ca.gov — and will gradually add more services as alternatives to an in-person visit.

The department is asking people who do not have an urgent need for DMV services to delay their visits including applying for a REAL ID. The federal government has delayed the need for a REAL ID until Oct. 21, 2021.

DMV field office employees will return on Wednesday, April 1 to process transactions and begin training on the DMV Virtual Field Office, which began in a limited pilot March 23. 

Beginning April 2, customers initially can complete vehicle title transfers and complex vehicle registration renewals by visiting virtual.dmv.ca.gov. The DMV will gradually add more transactions to continue to provide alternatives to an in-person office visit.

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