DMV extends grace period for expiring licenses, registrations
A three-month grace period will apply to Oregon driver licenses and permits and vehicle registrations expiring between Nov. 1 and April 30, and that have been expired less than three months.
The grace period results from an agreement between the Oregon Department of Transportation and law enforcement agencies in the aftermath of a backlog by the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services (DMV) Division. Coronavirus restrictions have compelled DMV to schedule in-person appointments that are piling up, with waits taking weeks.
The Legislature had passed a bill that imposed a moratorium on such enforcement actions, but that June special-session law ends on Dec. 31. That law applied to permits, licenses and registrations expiring between the start of the pandemic March 1 and Dec. 31. No extension was proposed for a vote in the Dec. 21 special session.
The agreement sets a three-month grace period from the date of a license, permit or registration expiring between Nov. 1 and April 30. It also gives police and sheriffs discretion over whether they should issue a citation. They can verify the status of licenses, permits and registrations electronically.
"DMV and law enforcement will continue to monitor the COVID-19 public health emergency, and may upon mutual agreement extend this moratorium as needed," interim DMV Administrator Amy Joyce said in a memo released Tuesday, Dec. 22.
"Other government agencies and private businesses are encouraged to exercise similar flexibility and understanding when presented with an expired Oregon DMV-issued credential."
DMV has taken steps to deal with the backlog as follows:
• Hiring additional temporary staff for field offices and call centers.
• Authorizing overtime to process mailed-in transactions.
• Adding services online by successfully finishing a multi-year system replacement in July.
• Expanding capacity for appointments from 16,000 per week this summer to nearly 28,000 per week now.
• Adding new knowledge test machines to increase capacity.
• Increasing drive test appointments at DMV offices in addition to expanding the number of private drive-test providers, both using COVID-19 safety practices.
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