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California & Oregon Shutter DMV Offices

Like everyone else, the country's motor vehicle agencies are having to adapt to conronavirus concerns. In Oregon, all field offices of the DMV have been closed since March 25 in direct response to Governor Kate Brown's stay-at-home order. The only access to DMV information is online, and the public's only access to transactions is by mail.

However, Oregon has an agreement with state and local law enforcement for a grace period to be honored for the duration of the closure. The public is encouraged to conduct the available transactions during this time, but no penalties will be assessed by the DMV for lapses in licenses or registrations that expire during the closure.

Oregon's emissions testing stations run by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) are also closed at this time. Deadlines for emissions testing will be extended to sometime after the stations re-open, and any other deadlines that require the emissions certification will also be extended.

Services to Oregon's commercial operators in the process of getting licensed are still available.

As of Friday, March 27, all California DMV offices are also shuttered. California motorists also have a 60-day grace period that extends deadlines to May 15th. This policy will be reassessed if the office closures extend beyond that date.

There are also changes for those planning to apply for the new enhanced travel ID. Applications for what's known as the "Real ID" is also handled through the Oregon DMV. The Department of Homeland Security has recently authorized a 1-year extention of the deadline for this new ID. The new date is October 1, 2021. Despite this change, the Oregon DMV will begin processing applications for the Real ID as scheduled on July 6th of this year.

David House, the public information officer for the Oregon Department of Transportation would like all Oregon citizens to, "Sit tight and stay well. And, to the extent that you can, avoid all public contact including DMV services. The grace period is intended to help people who need to get out. But you can delay any DMV services and that's probably what you should do."

Dave has worked in broadcasting for over 30 years as an on-air host, producer, writer, and recording engineer. He now hosts Morning Edition on JPR. Dave is also an active freelance voice talent and audio book narrator.