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Move by the DMV and ODOT gives law enforcement discretion in citing for expired documents

For those folks who have driver's licenses, ID cards and vehicle registrations soon to expire, there may be an upside to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus: a reprieve instituted by the state.PHOTO COURTESY OF OREGON DMV - In an effort to decrease visits to DMV offices, the state has initiated a grace period that allows police some latitude in enforcing expired credentials.

In an effort to decrease visits to Driver and Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices, the Oregon Department of Transportation initiated a grace period last week that allows Oregon State Police, local law enforcement and sheriff's deputies flexibility in enforcing expired credentials.

"While DMV offices will remain open, this action is intended to protect the health and safety of people who would otherwise have to visit a DMV office to take care of business, but are concerned during the current public health emergency," a release from ODOT on Friday said.

The grace period is of particular interest to residents of the Portland metropolitan area whose vehicles must undergo emissions testing before they can renew their registrations. In addition to the grace period, the Department of Environmental Quality has suspended emissions testing for the time being.

In addition to driver's licenses and commercial and passenger vehicle registrations, the grace period extends to trip permits and disable parking permits as well.

"Our top priority is slowing the spread of COVID-19 and maintaining the health and safety of the public and our employees," said ODOT Director Kris Strickler. "It's only our strong partnership with Oregon State Police, Oregon State Sheriff's Association and the Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police that enabled us to move in this direction."

The DMV encouraged motorists to renew their vehicle registrations through the mail, online at or by calling 503-945-5000. Other online services allow residents to update their addresses, report the sale of a vehicle, secure a trip permit and register to vote or alter an existing voter registration.

"During this current public health emergency, times are hard enough," Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said. "The added stress of driving without a valid license or registration is one barrier we can eliminate. Our mission is to protect, not unnecessarily penalize, Oregonians."

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