What If Your Driver’s License Expires During The Pandemic?

What happens if your driver’s license expires while the DMV is closed due to the pandemic? Attorney Paul Harding of Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP explains the issue on the radio with WIZN. Please take a listen or read the transcription below.

Joe: 106.7 WIZN, it’s the Rolling Stones in Miss You. Heard Van Halen, Runnin’ with the Devil before that. Joe Vega taking you through your Wednesday Rocking Ride Home and I’m on the phone right now with Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti. Hello, Paul.

Paul: Hey, Joe, how are you?

Joe: I’m doing well. But I got an issue. I might need a lawyer here soon because yeah, I realized this morning that my driver’s license is going to expire in less than a week. So I hopped onto the DMV website to renew my driver’s license but I can’t because I needed a new picture, I need an address change, so I have to go down to the DMV. The only problem is the DMV is not open right now due to COVID-19. So what happens if I get pulled over right now on expired license?

Paul: Well, you need to keep my number handy. Super handy because you’ll be at least doing weekends at some point somewhere. So, you know, a lot of people going through this. I was actually speaking to my daughter and her friends and they all want to get their permit. They’re all turning 16 and…

Joe: Right. Oh, good luck with that.

Paul: Yeah, they’re running into that problem and it’s really frustrating. But as far as license renewal goes, what they said is this, basically from March 1st on, you have sort of this unlimited extension. New York’s very unique, other states have given 30 days, 90 days, but right now they’re going to announce when that extension is up, and when they do that, you’re still gonna have a bunch of time. So New York really took the most liberal approach that if your license is expiring in the time we shut down this DMV, you just keep doing your thing.

Joe: You talked about New York, and I know you live in New York, but I live in Vermont. Do you know what the…are the rules of Vermont similar or?

Paul: Yes. So what happened in Vermont is they did the 90-day thing. And they sort of just gave time. Same rule, police do the same thing. Most states did the same thing, New York just kept it open forever. Vermont, Massachusetts, Maine, they just gave an extension assuming that prior to the expiration of that period of 90 days, that the DMVs would be open. But they were pretty clear that when they open, you have a reasonable time to get it renewed. So yeah, all the states figured it out knowing they can’t get to you, and Vermont, New York, everybody here in the northeast was in agreeance, I assume the whole country.

Joe: Right. Okay. Well, that’s good to know. So as long as it’s only the expired license, I’m not gonna get arrested.

Paul: You’re not gonna get arrested for that. No. If they pull you over, you know, they start going through some old…I don’t know if you ever had…ever have an old parking ticket you didn’t pay, Joe, anything in your past?

Joe: Well, no, but I understand where you’re going with this. Here’s a question, is that reason for them to search your car?

Paul: No. Searching your car and having a parking ticket or a speeding ticket are two different things. You know, they search your car if they have reasonable cause, and reasonable cause does not mean a ticket blew off while you were visiting your family in Rutland and yeah, so no searching. Would a search yield anything, Joe? It sounds like you’re…you’re not admitting anything, are you right now?

Joe: We’ll talk off the air later.

Paul: Oh, off the air. I apologize.

Joe: Right. All right, thank you very much for the info, Paul. Paul Harding from Martin, Harding & Mazzotti.

Paul: Oh, anytime. Thank you.

Joe: Remember, you can call Paul or any of the fine lawyers at Martin, Harding & Mazzotti at anytime at 1800law1010 or go online to 1800law1010.com. All right, I’m out of here. Mel Allen’s taking over, he’s got music from Metallica and Joan Jett next.