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Oregon DMV Continues Grace Period For Expired Licenses, Tags

Karen Richards

Some Oregonians who have been unable to renew their drivers’ licenses or vehicle registration due to the pandemic will get another grace period in the new year.

The agreement between the Oregon DMV and law enforcement agencies is a rolling citation moratorium. It applies to people with expired licenses, registration tags or disabled persons parking placards…but only if the documents have expired since November 1 and have been expired fewer than three months.

Oregon lawmakers approved a moratorium on enforcement of expired registrations and licenses during a special session earlier this year. The law was retroactive to the beginning of the pandemic, but it expires on December 31. The new agreement between the DMV and law enforcement agencies is not built into state statue, and allows officers to "exercise discretion" when presented with expired documents.

DMV spokesman David House said the agency is starting to catch up from the backlog created during the early days of the pandemic.

“In most cases, if your tags expire and you renew online, usually you get those within a week," said House. "So there isn’t a backlog in all our business, but there is a backlog in some of the types of business.”

House said title transfers are an example of a more complicated transaction that the agency is still catching up on.

He said many DMV transactions can be done online.

In-person visits require an appointment. House said if you anticipate needing one, plan ahead. There’s a two-month wait at some Oregon DMV locations. 

The agreement is in affect through April 30, 2021.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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