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.

Office Reservations and Safety | Online transactions | Mail-in transactions | Road tests

DMV Office Reservations and Safety Requirements 

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 dropbox.

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 Office Locations and Reservations 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.
  • You should not visit a DMV office if you have traveled within 14-days of your visit to a state with significant community spread of COVID-19, as outlined in the travel advisory.  For a current list of restricted states, please see the NYS Department of Health COVID-19 Travel Advisory site.  

Extension of Expired Documents

All driver licenses and permits that expired March 1, 2020, or after continue to be extended by Executive Order at least through July 5, 2021. In addition, the federal REAL ID enforcement deadline has been extended until May 3, 2023. To renew your driver license, please see the How to Renew a License page.

Expired Vehicle Inspections, Non-Driver IDs and Vehicle Registrations Extension Ended November 3, 2020.

Vehicle registrations including temporary auto dealer registrations and non-driver identification cards that expired March 1, 2020, or after and vehicle inspections that expired March 31, 2020, or after are no longer valid.

Updating to REAL ID or Enhanced licenses

Limited appointments are now available in state-run DMV offices to upgrade your Standard license or non-driver identification card to a REAL or Enhanced ID when it is due for renewal. You can also 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 until May 3, 2023.


Transactions available online 

The DMV offers more than 60 transactions online, making it fast and convenient for all New Yorkers to complete the 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 Transactions

DMV is expanding the ability for New Yorkers to complete necessary transactions by mail, 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)

Dropbox transactions

  • license plate surrenders

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

You can also complete these transactions by dropbox.  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 dropbox and must maintain proper social distancing at all times. They should ensure their documents are filled out completely before 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 are 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 road tests statewide.

Please Note: After November 3, 2020, customers will not be tested if their vehicle has an expired registration or inspection.  The tests will need to be re-scheduled.  We will honor any pre-licensing course completion certificates that expired during the COVID-19 emergency.

For the safety of everyone at our road test sites, all customers​, which include accompanying drivers ​and any other passengers in a vehicle arriving at a test site, must wear face coverings and maintain 6 feet ​of distance from other customers and staff whenever possible.  Face coverings include cloth, surgical masks, N-95 respirators, or face shields.  Customers will also need to disinfect the passenger side of the vehicle with disinfectant wipes that DMV provides upon arrival. DMV road test examiners will wear face coverings, and will have hand sanitizer.

To maintain proper social distancing protocols, you should only arrive with one accompanying driver.  You and your accompanying driver will have your temperature taken and be screened before beginning the test.  If there are multiple applicants in a vehicle with the same accompanying driver, and one of the applicants, or the accompanying driver, does not pass the screening process, none of the applicants in the vehicle will be tested at that time.  Their tests will need to be re-scheduled.

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. 
  • You must maintain proper social distancing protocols. You should arrive with only the accompanying driver and any other applicants of the accompanying driver and maintain 6 feet ​of distance from other customers and staff, whenever possible.
  • When you arrive for your road test, you, your accompanying driver, and any other vehicle passengers will have your temperature taken and will be screened. All customers​, including accompanying drivers and any other vehicle passengers, will have their temperature taken and be screened for symptoms of COVID-19 and any known contacts with positive COVID-19 patients before beginning the test.  Road tests will be rescheduled if:
    • any of the individuals who have been screened have a fever (temperature of 100 degrees or higher), 
    • ​are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19,
    • have had any known close contact with a person confirmed (by a diagnostic test) or suspected (based on symptoms) to have COVID-19 within the past 10 days,
    • have tested positive for COVID-19 through a diagnostic test within the past 10 days, or 
    • has traveled within a state/territory that does not border New York, or a CDC Level 2 or Higher Travel Advisory country, for longer than 24 hours within the past 14 days
  • You will need to disinfect the passenger side of the vehicle with disinfectant wipes that DMV provides 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.