DMV Reopening Guidance

In December 2019, a respiratory disease called the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was detected, followed by community-wide transmission of COVID-19 throughout the United States. To reduce the spread of this infectious disease, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has taken aggressive action including limiting all in-person transactions at New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offices and had previously suspended all road tests.

DMV offices | Online transactions | Mail-in transactions | Road tests

DMV offices 

You can make reservations for limited in-person transactions at state-run DMV offices in regions that are in at least Phase 3 of reopening. Reservations will be required and will only be offered for a limited number of critical services that cannot be done online or by mail or drop box.

DMV offices in the counties of Albany, Onondaga, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Westchester, and the five boroughs of New York City will continue to process registrations and other transactions by mail, and secure drop boxes located at each office. County Clerks that operate DMV offices in the remaining 51 counties of the State are advised to also offer limited in-person transactions as soon as practical after their respective regions enter Phase 3. 

To make a reservation at state-run DMV offices or for more information about services offered at county-operated offices visit our Offices page. Many other transactions are available online. 

Safety Requirements for State-run DMV offices

  • Only the customer will be allowed in the office unless another person is needed to complete the transaction, for example, a parent/guardian of a minor or an interpreter. All others will be required to wait outside of the office.
  • You must always wear a face covering and maintain 6 feet from others in the office whenever possible. Face coverings include cloth, surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields.

Extension of Expired Documents

All driver licenses, non-driver identification cards and vehicle registrations that expired March 1, 2020 or after and vehicle inspections that expired March 31 or after were previously extended and continue to be extended by Executive Order. In addition, the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended until October 1, 2021.

Updating to REAL ID or Enhanced licenses

You cannot upgrade to a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver License (EDL) as federal law requires that these transactions be done in person and these are not included in the services currently offered at offices. You can renew your current license or non-driver ID online now and upgrade to a REAL ID or an EDL in a DMV office when we resume those services. The federal REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended one year until October 1, 2021.

 

Transactions available online 

The DMV offers more than 60 transactions online, making it fast and convenient for all New Yorkers to complete transactions they need.  The following services continue to be offered online:

  • select driver license services, such as renewing or replacing a license
  • vehicle transactions, such as renewing or replacing a registration
  • requests for DMV records, like crash reports or driving abstracts
  • address change
  • paying fines and fees for suspensions, civil penalties, driver responsibility assessments
  • pleading or paying New York City traffic tickets

Vision tests for online license renewal

You need to pass a vision test to renew your license online. There are more than 6,000 providers statewide that are enrolled in the DMV’s Vision Registry and are approved to administer the vision test. Following the test, these providers enter the results online, saving time when you visit the DMV website to renew your license. A vision test from a Vision Registry provider is valid for one year.

If you have not had your vision checked by a Vision Registry provider you can have your doctor or another medical professional complete a Vision Test Report (MV-619), which you can use to complete the renewal process online. 

 

Mail-in/ Drop Box transactions

DMV is expanding the ability for New Yorkers to complete necessary transactions by mail or drop box, including:

  • all original vehicle registrations and plate transfers
  • license plate surrenders
  • sales tax only transactions
  • license and registration renewals (online option available)
  • replacement of lost documents (online option available)
  • address change (online option available)

We recommend you conduct your DMV business by mail in the County where you live. 

You can also complete these transactions by drop box.  Secure drop boxes are located at all state-run DMV offices and available to customers during regular office hours Monday through Saturday.  See our list of DMV office locations for information about the location of your DMV office and the services that it offers. When dropping off documents, customers must wear a face covering, and only two customers will be allowed in the office at one time to access the drop box and must maintain proper social distancing at all times. They should ensure their documents are filled out completely prior to bringing them to the DMV.  Note that customer service representatives will not be available to assist with these transactions.

You will not be allowed to pick up your completed transaction. Once your transactions is processed, a receipt, and/or all applicable documents including registration stickers and license plates will be mailed to you.

If you need to register a vehicle you should complete the Registration Document Guide to find the documents you need to mail in.

You can find Instructions for returning license plates by mail on the DMV website.

Road tests

Reservations are available for Commercial Driver License (CDL) road tests statewide. Passenger and motorcycle road tests are available in all regions that are in at least Phase 3 of reopening.
Please Note: We will honor any course completion certificates that expired while road tests were suspended. Customers whose road tests were canceled because of COVID-19 will be given priority for rescheduling. DMV staff has begun outreach to those customers.

All road tests will be conducted with strict safety requirements in place; DMV road test examiners will wear gloves, face coverings, and will have hand sanitizer. Customers must wear face coverings and sanitize the passenger side of their vehicle. They will also have their temperature taken and be screened prior to beginning the test. To maintain proper social distancing protocols, customers should only arrive with one accompanying driver.

For more information, see Schedule and Take a Road Test.

Safety Requirements for Road Tests

  • You must always wear a face covering and maintain 6 feet from others at a road test site whenever possible. Anyone accompanying you to your road test must also wear a face covering. Face coverings include cloth, surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields. 
  • To maintain proper social distancing protocols, you should arrive with only one accompanying driver. 
  • When you arrive for your road test, you will have your temperature taken and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and any known contacts with positive COVID-19 patients prior to beginning the test. Road tests will be rescheduled if you have a fever (temperature of 100 degrees or higher), are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 or have had recent, close contact with anyone who tested positive for COVID-19.
  • You need to disinfect the passenger side of the vehicle with disinfectant wipes upon arrival. 

Do not appear for your road test if you

  • have been directed to quarantine, isolate or self-monitor at home for the COVID-19 by any doctor, hospital, or health agency; or
  • have been diagnosed with, or have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with COVID-19; or 
  • have flu-like symptoms or symptoms of the coronavirus.