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I am 76 years old. I have a California driver's license expiring on September 8, 2018 and presently live in Europe. I cannot be in CA on the renewal date. I probably will be in the US in spring 2019. Can I do it at that point?

  • By "CA" do you mean "California" (for which CA is the standard state abbreviation), or "Canada" (for which CA is the ISO two-letter country code) – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 24 '18 at 12:24
  • @MartinBonner since Canada doesn't normally issue driver's licenses, it's probably safe to assume that CA is California in this case. – phoog Aug 24 '18 at 13:29
  • @phoog - Ah, they are issued by the province. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 24 '18 at 13:34
  • If you "reside" in Europe, are you even eligible by CA law to hold a CA driver's license? – DJohnM Aug 27 '18 at 21:40
  • Be careful. Since you are not a California resident at the moment, you may not be eligible to renew a California license. (That is certainly true of my jurisdiction, Saskatchewan, and we would allow you to get a new license here again within five years of the expiration of your old one, or if we offered reciprocity with the country where you carried your European license. California may, of course, vary.) – Jim MacKenzie Aug 30 '18 at 21:47
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If this is a California license, according to this private website you can renew it up to six months before it expires or 90 days after it expires (so December 7th 2018). After that you would have to apply for a new license. According to my searches, the DMV agent may choose to waive the requirement for a driving test - but they don't have to (and may have a prejudice against allowing a more mature person on the road).

Note that if you are living in Europe, you probably can't drive with the US license after a certain number of months. (The period will depend on precisely where you are, but a year is typical.)

  • Not sure that the second part of your answer is accurate... my experience has been that if you remain within a single country for 12 months, then you are expected to get a valid local license, but if you leave that country periodically (perhaps go to a different European country) the 12 month clock is "reset". – Seamus Aug 25 '18 at 18:12
  • @Seamus The clock will be reset if you move home. Just going for a holiday won't reset the clock. The question is "where do you reside?", not "where did you sleep last night". Most people do not move home every year (but there are some that do). – Martin Bonner supports Monica Aug 26 '18 at 8:08
  • That will depend on how long the "holiday" is! It's all quite variable, and dependent upon a number of factors. These things are far from "settled", "well known", "common knowledge" and "uniform practice". Thus, my comment, and I shall stand by it. – Seamus Aug 26 '18 at 16:17
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Since California driver's licenses can be renewed online, your temporary absence from the state shouldn't prevent you from renewing before it expires.

If you received the renewal notice by mail in California, you may have other options such as renewing by telephone following its instructions.

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