All Floridians should check their driver license
Bottom Line: If you’re like me, there’s a good chance you can’t remember the last time you looked at your driver’s license let alone checked the expiration date. It sits in my wallet and only comes out if I’m carded, which hasn’t happened in over a year, or if I’m flying which likewise hasn’t happened in over a year. That’s why I hadn’t noticed my license was set to expire this week until I received notification in the mail a few weeks ago. Having renewed online previously, I popped on the tax collector’s website to renew it again...only to find that I wasn’t eligible to do it online – even though my license had the Real ID star on it. Seeing that I’d have to renew in person I read I’d have to make an appointment. When I went to do it, I found most DMV offices still weren’t open to the public for renewals and appointments had to be made in advance. That’s when I went to make an appointment and found that the earliest available appointment wasn’t until...after my license would expire. Good times, right?
Now thankfully there wasn’t any drama. My license expired on Tuesday, and Wednesday, when I went to renew my license the process was super smooth at the office. That said, it could’ve been a problem and there are clearly some takeaways here. Additionally, a DMV employee told me this is a regular issue which needs to be addressed. Here’s what you need to know and why you should take a minute to check out your license.
- October 1st: That’s the deadline for having a “Real ID” compliant license
- 3 weeks: That’s the average length of time it takes to obtain a DMV appointment currently
- Expiration penalties: In addition to the risks of driving on an expired license, you can be subjected to additional fees for allowing your license to expire when you go to renew
- Retest: If your license is expired for a year or longer you now have to retest to obtain a driver’s license
As I came to find out – there are Floridians dealing with these issues daily, many of which are unintended byproducts of the pandemic. That’s why it makes sense to take a quick look at your license to make sure you’re good to go. You can renew your license up to 18 months in advance in Florida.
Photo Credit: Florida Department of Motor Vehicles