July 8, 2020.

I went to the DMV in Laguna Hills today. My driver’s license expires on August 6, 2020, and since that is my 75th birthday I have to renew in person to get an eye exam, take the written test, and no doubt a new photo as well. I tend to take these deadlines seriously, so I’ve been trying to find out what to do ever since the DMV field offices reopened on June 11. It hasn’t been easy.

There was a long line at the DMV, all masked and distanced, but they told us to go away and try again at 1:00

People with earlier birthdays received notices that if their license expired before July 31, 2020, they would get a 120-day extension. That was the information on the DMV website as well, every time I checked. I could get no one on the phone. The chat robot was not programmed to tell me whether August babies get an extension. So I reviewed the test questions on line and went to the DMV this morning and stood in line outside until a lady came out and told everyone they were full, go away, and come back at 1:00 PM, if you like, but no guarantees. I told her that my license expires in a few weeks and she said the police won’t cite you for an expired license. If they pull you over they will cite you for whatever they pulled you over for, but not for your license being expired.

I went home and checked the DMV website one more time, only to find that they changed it! The DMV website now states: “Noncommercial driver license permits expiring between March-August 31, 2020 are extended six months or to a date 24 months from the date of application, whichever is earlier.” (bold type, mine).

So I’m covered. But be careful where you look. I googled the driver’s license extension question and got this:

  1. ACLU website: “If you are 70 years or older and your driver license expired between March 2020 and May 2020: it is automatically extended 120 days.” with a link to the . . .
  2. California government website: “All drivers licenses expiring between March 1 through July 31, 2020: Drivers 70 years of age and older will receive a 120-day paper extension.” (Bold, mine)

Nobody knew how long this was going to last, but a practical lesson in pandemic times: Things are changing constantly, so be careful when looking up information that matters to you. The source you rely on may be out of date. The information I just quoted is only a snapshot in time. It may be different now.

The big COVID news today has to do with preparing for the fall back-to-school season: Whether grade schools should reopen, the status of international students at universities that plan to have only online classes, and the decision of Ivy League universities to cancel sports this fall, including football. These decisions not only affect students, coaches, and teachers, but they have profound ripple effects on their families, school employees, school budgets, dependent businesses, and the economy of college towns.

And there are so many changes rippling through our lives right now. Because who thought it would last this long?

Today’s Notable Headlines

“New U.S. CDC school reopening guidelines promised after Trump complains,” Reuters, July 8, 2020. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-usa-education/new-u-s-cdc-school-reopening-guidelines-promised-after-trump-complains-idUSKBN24922X

“Harvard, MIT Sue Immigration Authorities Over Rule Barring International Students from Online-Only Universities,” Harvard Crimson, July 8, 2020. https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2020/7/8/harvard-mit-sue-immigration-authorities/

“Ivy League calls off all fall sports, including football, due to coronavirus,” NBC News, July 8, 2020. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/ivy-league-colleges-calls-all-fall-sports-including-football-due-n1233233

Sources referenced

DMV: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/covid-19-relief-information/driver-license-extensions/

ACLU: https://www.aclusocal.org/en/know-your-rights/covid19-dmv-extensions

State of California: https://covid19.ca.gov/stay-home-except-for-essential-needs/#top

Why am I doing this?

The coronavirus pandemic will be indelibly written on our memories just as the Great Depression or the Battle of Britain left their mark on past generations. It is my intention to journal the events of these days from three perspectives: as a retired medical technologist, a historian (Ph.D., 2014), and an ordinary person living through an extraordinary crisis.

You are on History’s Edge.

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