Breckenridge Texan

Vehicle registration, driver license waivers to end in April

Vehicle registration, driver license waivers to end in April
February 23
09:52 2021

The temporary waivers that the State of Texas had issued, allowing residents to put off renewing their driver licenses and vehicle titles and registrations due to the COVID-10 pandemic, will end on April 14, 2021. That means, all Texas driver licenses and vehicle titles, registrations, license plates and inspections must be up-to-date by then.

Vehicle Title and Registration

The temporary waiver of certain vehicle title and registration requirements, announced by Gov. Greg Abbott on March 16, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will end on April 14, 2021, according to a news release from the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.

If you have not renewed your expired vehicle registration, you should make plans to renew by that date. It is not necessary to wait until the deadline to complete any overdue transactions as motorists have several renewal options.

Three ways to renew your vehicle registration:

  1. Online: Visit http://www.TxDMV.gov or www.Texas.gov. This is the quickest and least expensive way to renew. Save $1 if you renew online. Online renewal is available up to nine months past your registration expiration date.
  2. Mail: Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment and other required information to your county tax assessor-collector.
  3. In Person: Visit the office of your county tax assessor-collector. In many counties, in-person renewal is also available at other locations, such as certain grocery stores. Contact your county tax office to check hours and locations.

Before renewing registration, Texans will need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection at the state vehicle inspection station of their choice, unless their vehicle is exempt from inspection requirements.

The expiring temporary waiver covers the following services:

  • Initial vehicle registration
  • Vehicle registration renewal
  • Vehicle titling
  • Renewal of permanent disabled parking placards
  • 30-day temporary permits

Driver Licenses and ID Cards

The Texas Department of Public Safety has announced in a news release that the COVID-19-related waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses and identification cards ends on April 14, 2021. Therefore, DPS continues to urge customers to make an appointment or renew online.

To assist customers with expired licenses who are unable to schedule an appointment prior to the April 14 deadline, DPS has implemented a new procedure. If a customer has a renewal appointment that falls after the deadline, they will be able to request a temporary driving permit that will be valid until their appointment date. For additional details on the new procedure, visit the DPS website.

The expiration waiver, originally granted by Gov. Greg Abbott in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.

Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL/ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov. Customers can also renew by phone at 1-866-DL-RENEW (1-866-357-3639). The requirements and cost for online and phone renewal are the same as in-person transactions. (If you schedule an appointment, you will also be notified if you are eligible to renew online.)

To assist customers needing in-office DL services, designated high-volume offices in larger cities are offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Abilene and Wichita Falls are included on that list.

Services at driver license offices are now conducted by appointment only. To schedule an appointment or check availability, visit the online appointment scheduler. If you are unable to find an appointment at the office of your choice, check back for availability at that office or other locations nearby. Check often as availability does change.

If you are unable to make your scheduled appointment, reschedule or cancel it ahead of time. While the department is working to serve as many customers as possible, people not showing up for their appointments continues to be a major obstacle. In December 2020, for example, approximately 31% of people (or more than 167,000 customers) were no-shows for their appointments.

The appointment system, which debuted in May 2020, is designed to provide additional convenience, reducing the time Texans wait in line. Customers can book appointments for a specific day and time, up to six months in advance, and show up 30 minutes or less before their scheduled time. Customers can check-in using the kiosk inside the office or from their mobile device.

All offices offer a limited number of same-day appointments. The appointments are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Customers who book these appointments can leave the DL office until their designated time.

Additionally, most offices also offer customers without an appointment a spot on a “standby” list. These customers are required to wait in the office and are assisted in the event of a cancelation or no-show. The number of standby appointments available is limited to ensure all customers who are placed on the list will be served by the end of the day.

To ensure a safe environment, COVID-19 protocols have been implemented at DL offices.

 

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