AUSTIN, TX — If your driver’s license or vehicle registration is expired, it’s time to renew! The temporary waiver for driver licenses, vehicle titles, and registration requirements ordered by Gov. Greg Abbott last March, will end on April 14.
“Any Texans who have an overdue, title registration transaction, such as renewing their vehicle registration, will need to make sure they come into compliance by the end of the day on April 14th,” said Adam Shaivitz, Public Information Officer for the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles.
This time last year, the pandemic closed many government offices, including the DMV’s, making it more difficult for residents to renew their driver’s licenses. County tax offices across the state in charge of vehicle titles and registration also had to adapt.
“The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles had to adapt quickly to the new COVID-19 world, including shifting a lot of our staff to remote telecommute work. But throughout the wavier period, we continued to offer important vehicle title and registration services to the public,” said Shaivitz.
In just the last year, 28,799 vehicle registrations have expired here in Brazos County. Texas Department of Motor Vehicles says that number does not represent the number of registrations that need to be renewed currently but shows just how many registrations did expire throughout the waiver period
“For example, your registration may expire and then you sold your vehicle so you don’t have to renew or you may have moved out of the state, or the vehicle is no longer operable,” said Shaivitz.
In December of 2020 over 167,000 people, nearly 31% of appointments that were made, were no shows at DMV’s across the state. DPS, asking residents to be considerate so they serve as many people as possible before and after, the April 14 deadline.
“If you are unable to make it, please call ahead of time so they can give it to somebody else. You know, there are 30 million people in Texas right now and our DL men and women are out there working very hard. They are very patient and are dealing with trying to get everybody caught up through this pandemic,” Sgt. Bryan Washko with the Texas Department of Public Safety said.
To minimize the need to visit your local driver's license office, many Texas DL and ID holders are eligible to conduct their renewal, address change, or replacement transaction online by visiting Texas.gov. You can also call 1-866-DL-RENEW to schedule an appointment.
If your driver's license has expired, and your scheduled appointment is on or after April 15, 2021, you may request a temporary license to operate a motor vehicle until your appointment date.
In order for your request to be processed, your request will need to be submitted through the DPS's customer service page, right here.
As the wavier period is close to ending, driving with an expired driver’s license, or registration, is a class C misdemeanor in the state of Texas and punishable by a fine of up to $500.
“With Texas growing the way it is, it’s always been quite a task to get everybody licensed and not to mention the upcoming drivers that are turning 16 trying to get their driver's licenses," said Washko. "So if you're stopped by an officer, an officer has that discretion to make the right choice, but that’s why we urge everybody last year, don’t wait until the wavier was announced because if you wait until the last minute and procrastinate, you may not get an appointment until 6 months down the road."
With just over a month left in the wavier period, DPS and the DMV are encouraging everyone to act now and get everything up to date.
“I would encourage people to not wait until that deadline since they’ve able to renew all this time and many Texans have done so, it’s a good idea if you are able to take care of what’s due now and not wait until April 14th," said Shaivitz.
There are three ways to renew your vehicle registration:
- Visit www.TxDMV.gov/register or www.Texas.gov. This is the quickest and least expensive way to renew. Save $1 if you renew online. Online renewal is available up to nine months past your registration expiration date.
- Mail: Return the bottom portion of your registration renewal form, payment, and other required information to your county tax assessor-collector.
- In-Person: Visit the office of your county tax assessor-collector. In many counties, in-person renewal is also available at other locations, such as certain grocery stores. Contact your county tax office to check hours and locations.
Before renewing registration, Texans need to obtain a passing vehicle inspection at the state vehicle inspection station of their choice, unless their vehicle is exempt from inspection requirements.