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Grace period is almost over for expired Oregon licenses and registrations

DMV field offices were temporarily closed in 2020, creating a backlog that led to lawmakers enacting a grace period for expired licenses and registrations.

The grace period for renewing expired Oregon drivers licenses and vehicle registrations is coming to an end next month.

The Oregon DMV closed its field offices for several months last year as part of the effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The agency has been working since then to clear out a backlog of paperwork.

To help ease the pressure, Oregon lawmakers last year instructed law enforcement to ignore expired licenses and tags. It turned into a series of rolling grace periods.

“The last one, put in place by this year’s legislature, will end at the end of this year, December 31st," said Oregon DMV spokesperson David House. "So if you have a driver's license, permit, ID card, or your tags on your car are expired and you just haven’t got into DMV yet, you need to do that before the end of the year.”

House says many routine transactions can be done online, saving a trip to the local DMV office. He said it's impossible to know how many Oregonians have allowed their licenses to expire as a result of the grace period, since some people may have simply chosen to no longer have a drivers license and have no plans to eventually renew it.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. 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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