Losing your California driver’s license can be stressful, but there’s a straightforward process in the state to get a replacement.
Replacing Your License
Visit the official CA DMV website and complete the application for a replacement driver’s license. Minors require a parent’s or guardian’s signature. Alternatively, go to a DMV location to fill out the DL 44/EDL 44 form if you prefer in-person applications.
Verification of Identity
For a REAL ID upgrade, verify your identity by providing your Social Security number, two California residency proofs, and an acceptable identity document like a passport or birth certificate.
Procedure and Required Documents
Visit the nearest CA DMV, either by walk-in or appointment. During your visit:
- Pay a $30 replacement fee (2021 rate).
- Confirm your photo.
- Provide a thumbprint.
- Submit proof documents if upgrading to a REAL ID.
Upon completion, you’ll receive a temporary replacement license valid for sixty days. It acts as proof while waiting for the permanent replacement, which usually arrives within four to six weeks. If not, contact 1-800-777-0133 for assistance.
Driving Without a Physical License
Driving in California without a physical license is against the law, potentially leading to misdemeanor charges and fines as per California Vehicle Code Section $12500. Although the penalties are less severe than driving without a license, it’s crucial to obtain a temporary license quickly. If necessary, carrying your driving record might help if stopped by authorities. Whenever feasible, arrange transportation with a licensed driver until you receive the interim license.