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Expired License or Registration? You Got 60 More Days to Renew

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Aldon Thomas Stiles | California Black Media


To comply with health officials’ recommendations regarding COVID-19, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is allowing customers a 60-day extension for license or registration renewals.


Stay away from our offices, stay home and be safe, the DMV is telling Californians.


The DMV says it has informed law enforcement departments that some drivers may be driving around the state with expired licenses or registrations due to COVID-19.


"This 60-day period for driver license and vehicle registrations is intended to protect the health and safety of DMV customers who would otherwise have to come to a DMV office to take care of business, but are concerned during this coronavirus pandemic," the DMV press release read.


The extension period went into effect March 16 and will cover all appointments that require physical office visits.


"Transactions that fall within this category include driver license renewals for those 70 years of age and older who are required to take a knowledge test; individuals who are required to renew in the office (their last DMV visit was 15 years prior); individuals subject to vision testing; and individuals with a complex driving history,” the press release continued.


The extension also applies to those who aren't able to seek alternatives to office visits under certain conditions.


The grace period also applies to vehicle registration renewals for customers “who are not eligible to use an alternative service channel because of the following reasons:Outdated insurance information, registration expired for 90 days or more, smog issues, and recent transfers," stated the press release.


The DMV also described what kind of appointments would require an in-person visit.


"Those transactions that require a DMV office visit include new driver licenses, duplicate driver licenses, some driver license renewals, new license plates, complex vehicle registrations or title transfers and off-highway permits," stated the press release.


The DMV will remain open to handle transactions such as getting a REAL ID, which requires an office visit. According to the press release, the DMV will improve their systems to help increase efficiency.


The DMV says it is taking the COVID-19 pandemic seriously, especially since Gov. Gavin Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency.


"The DMV is taking this action so that at-risk populations, including seniors and those with underlying health conditions, can avoid required visits to DMV field offices for driver license or vehicle registration renewals," according to the statement.

Black California Has a Chance to Rewrite History in 2020

Special to California Black Media Partners

Throughout the history of the United States, the Black community’s consistent fight for recognition has been an unfortunate and inescapable reality.


History is not a precise science, nor an impartial one. Take a glance at a history textbook from past decades, and you will quickly understand that American history waswritten from the viewpoint of white men.


In so many ways, the history of Black Americans IS the history of America. Slavery, the Civil Rights Movement, and, in the modern era, the preeminence of Black popularculture, have all shaped and still define this country.


This year we have an opportunity to set a positive trajectory for the future of Black communities in the nation’s most economically and socially powerful state. A chanceto be counted, to ensure our voices are heard, and to secure the resources we deserve for the next generation – through participating in the 2020 Census.


History hasn’t been kind or accurate when it comes to counting Black neighborhoods. In Census after Census, the supposedly straightforward act of counting everyone inAmerica has dismissed and disregarded millions across the country.


Nationally, the last Census in 2010 undercounted Black people by 2.1 percent — a total of 800,000 people missing from the record, rendered invisible. Black children weretwice as likely to be missed as white children, affecting federal funding allocations to programs to provide support to children in schools.


The reasons many in the Black community wind up overlooked by the count are complex and pervasive. Complex housing issues, including renting, instability and living inunique arrangements make them even more likely to be missed in the Census.


There are also strong cultural and political headwinds. Decades of segregation, legal discrimination, and police brutality mean that many Black communities understandablyreject the federal government as an agent for positive change. Wary of providing information, many fear it will be used against them.


California is leading a collaborative effort to educate and motivate the hardest-to-count Californians to fill out the Census form. We have the power to change the courseof our history.


Across California, which has the fifth largest Black population in the country, Black activists and organizations are once again stepping up. This time to partner withthe state to conduct the most comprehensive and diverse outreach campaign in state history.


As such, California Calls, a growing alliance of 31 grassroots, community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state, is reachingout to communities in California to make the case for being counted. As one of California’s outreach partners for the 2020 Census, California Calls has done outreach to Black populations throughout the State using door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, anddigital communication strategies.


My Black Counts is an education and awareness initiative convened by California Calls as part of The California Black Census and Redistricting Hub Project. This is ourchance in California to right historical wrongs and for communities to claim what is rightfully theirs.


 We hope –– no, we will make certain – this time around there will be a difference. We are telling communities that the Census is safe and secure. Not only is the U.S. Census Bureau required by lawto keep any personal information it collects confidential, but that information also cannot be used for law enforcement purposes or to determine eligibility for government benefits.


Starting in mid-March, the U.S. Census Bureau will invite all Californians to complete the Census. It’s a short form – 9 questions per person – and households can participate by phone, mail or online.In May, Census enumerators will visit homes in person to count those who don’t respond.


The 2020 Census is an opportunity for Black Californians to correct the record and chart a better way forward. But for that to happen, we must all stand up and be counted.


We have a big task ahead, but we know Black Californians are up to meeting the challenge. It’s our time to show we aren’t invisible.


Anthony Thigpenn is the Convener, Black Census and Redistricting Hub; President, California Calls.

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