Thousands of Californians Can’t Get Drivers’ Licenses, After Paying Early

The problem-plagued Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) made headlines this week with another blunder.

To combat long lines that drew much attention to the agency last year, the DMV began sending drivers’ license renewal notices to Californians 120 days to 150 days before their licenses were scheduled to expire. However, the agency’s antiquated computer system could accept payment only 115 days before the expiration date.

As a result, thousands of Californians who immediately paid for renewals online or by mail are in limbo. Some cards may never arrive in the mail and some people have not received refunds.

The DMV said in a written statement that the error has been fixed and affected only “a small percentage of customers.” The agency said it is “working to contact the customers impacted and issue their driver license by mail as soon as possible.”

Governor Gavin Newsom recently assigned a “strike force” to review DMV operations and suggest reforms.

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