AUSTIN, Texas - The COVID-19 related waiver on expiration dates for driver licenses (DLs) and identification cards (IDs) has now ended. The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues to urge customers with an expired DL or ID to make an appointment or renew online today.
To assist customers with expired licenses who were unable to schedule an appointment prior to the waiver ending, DPS says it is implemented a new procedure allowing them to request a temporary driving permit that will remain valid until their appointment date. For additional details on that process, please visit the DPS website.
The expiration waiver, originally granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied to DLs, commercial DLs, commercial learner permits, ID cards, and election identification certificates that expired on or after March 13, 2020.
The department says it cannot determine what action a law enforcement officer or the court may take if someone is stopped while driving with an expired license as both have discretion in these matters.
"If you have waited and you still need to take care of something, I would just recommend doing it as early as possible and be patient and just take care of what you need to do," said DMV Public Information Officer Adam Shaivitz. "Starting April 15th after the waiver has ended, then law enforcement may begin issuing citations for not having a valid registration so that certainly would be a risk if you don’t come into compliance by the time the deadline is reached. If you are cited for an invalid registration, you could be facing a fine of up to 200 dollars."
That is why the department continues to encourage anyone with an expired DL to make a renewal appointment now and apply for a temporary driving permit in order to stay in compliance.
Many Texans are eligible to skip the trip to the office entirely by renewing their DL or ID card or changing their address online at Texas.gov.
As of April 1, 2021, there were approximately 858,000 expired driver licenses in the DPS system according to the department.
Of those, roughly 130,700 are eligible to renew online.
To assist customers needing in-office DL services, DPS says designated high-volume offices continue offering expanded hours from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday.