COVID19 and “Variance”

What is “variance” you may ask?

It is sort of like a privilege permitting businesses to be open, or reopen. Businesses in the Santa Clara County are required to submit the application by 13 July 2020 if they wish to resume their operation. The County will submit this request to the State also by the 13 July as well. Businesses have to demonstrate that they have modified doing business to minimize the spread of COVID19.

THE FOUR BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS ARE:

1- Telework, 2- New Social Distancing Protocol requirements, 3- Capacity limitations, 4- Positive case reporting

After completing the variance application with the county the following businesses will be allowed to reopen:

  • Personal Services, including hair and nail salons, massage therapy, and other body care services
  • Gyms and fitness centers
  • Construction
  • Recreational and athletic activities
  • Gatherings, including for social, economic, religious, cultural, and other purposes
  • Agriculture
  • Hotels and motels
  • Public transit
  • Childcare, summer camps, and children’s activities
  • Pools
  • Outdoor dining
  • Food facilities

By Wassim Yassine,

A-Z Driving School Owner

Hooray!! 1st drive test reschedule day at DMVs is Friday26June2020

A Message from A-Z Driving School, San Jose, CA

GREAT NEWS folks, now we have a date to work with !!!
For those who’s drive tests were cancelled by the DMV, the DMV is now rescheduling cancelled drive tests starting on Friday June 26. Those who want to schedule a drive test for the first time may be able to take the test sometime in August due to the backlog.

If your Learners Permit is expired and want to take the drive test make sure to apply online for the REAL ID and walk into the DMV 30 min before your drive test time with documents including the certificate of completion.

More over for those who want to do their knowledge test, now you can complete a REAL ID application online from DMV website then go to the DMV office.


**** If you are not an adult yet, remember to bring with you a copy of your “Certificate of Completion of the Drivers Ed course” or you have to back home to get it and then wait in line again. For more info: www.dmv.ca.gov

All California DMVs reopened with Limited Service, No Drive Tests as of now

We are sharing with you what the DMV is announcing to the public on their website:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 9, 2020

DMV Reopens Remaining Field Offices to Public

Starting Thursday, 169 locations will serve customers with appointments, offering limited services

Customers encouraged to use online and expanded virtual services when possible

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles on Thursday, June 11, will reopen its remaining field offices that were temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. With this phase of reopening, employees at 169 field offices will assist customers with current appointments at the specific office and limited transactions that require an in-person visit. Behind-the-wheel drive tests are not yet available, and the DMV continues to recommend that customers use its online services, expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals.

“I continue to encourage Californians to use our online services, the Virtual Field Office, DMV Now kiosks and business partners whenever possible,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said. “Nearly all DMV tasks can be accomplished without an office visit. To keep wait times down and to maintain public health guidelines, I ask you to only visit a DMV office when absolutely necessary and to come prepared.”

Limited service: Employees will continue serving customers with existing appointments and Californians in need of selected transactions that can only be completed in a DMV field office, including:

  • Paying registration for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
  • Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
  • Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
  • Processing commercial driver license transactions
  • Applying for a disabled person parking placards (this can also be done by mail using the REG 195 form)
  • Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
  • Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus
  • Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow
  • Vehicle verifications

Offices will also offer additional services for commercial drivers, including vehicle inspections and basic control tests. The commercial offices will begin contacting previously scheduled applicants to reschedule the vehicle inspection and basic skills components. The DMV also will resume offering motorcycle drive tests.

Appointments: The DMV has already begun rescheduling appointments canceled during the temporary closure and notifying customers of the new date. Once the DMV has accommodated those customers, the DMV will begin offering a limited number of new appointments.

The DMV plans to resume offering all services to appointment and non-appointment customers in the coming weeks, as space allows. The DMV notes for its customers that the San Bernardino field office is closed until further notice for repairs.

Public health measures: Customers will notice numerous changes to safeguard the health of employees and customers. including: Employees are wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distancing and have access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, facial shields, gloves and soap and water. The DMV also is providing hand-washing stations for customer use in select locations. Customers are required to wear a face covering and remain 6 feet apart in line. Customers are offered a text message that will allow them to wait outside the building until notified they are ready to be served. Entry into the building is metered, and customers may experience extended wait times.

Behind-the-wheel drive tests: Behind-the-wheel tests are currently not available due to physical distancing concerns. The DMV plans to resume behind-the-wheel exams for both commercial and non-commercial drivers in the coming weeks. The DMV suspended the tests in March to comply with physical distancing guidelines. The DMV will reschedule canceled appointments for drive tests automatically when testing resumes.

Credit cards: The DMV has expanded credit card and digital wallet (Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay) payment options to all offices statewide.

REAL ID:  The DMV has expanded its “DMV Express” option to all field offices, allowing customers to fill out the online application for REAL ID, upload documents at home and receive an expedited experience at a local DMV office. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government extended the REAL ID enforcement date to October 1, 2021, a year later than previously announced, to give people more time to apply.

“We appreciate the public’s patience as we navigate this time of unprecedented challenges,” Director Gordon said. “We will continue to monitor the situation and act in the best interest of our customers and employees.”

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46 More DMV Field Offices Reopening to Public

We are sharing with you a news release from DMV regarding offices reopening,

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 26, 2020 

46 More DMV Field Offices Reopening to Public 

Starting Thursday, 71 facilities will serve customers with appointments or specific transactions 

Customers encouraged to use online and expanded virtual services 

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles will reopen 46 more field offices throughout the state on Thursday, May 28, for a total of 71 locations assisting customers with a current appointment at the specific office and limited transactions that require an in-person visit. The DMV has begun rescheduling prior appointments and notifying customers of the new date. The DMV, which initially reopened 25 offices earlier this month, continues to encourage customers to use online services, its expanded virtual services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals. 

Beginning Thursday, the following 46 field offices will open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. with the exception of opening at 9 a.m. Wednesday: Bell Gardens Bellflower Chula Vista Clovis 
Colusa Corte Madera Daly City El Cajon 
Eureka Fairfield Fremont Fresno North 
Garberville Hawthorne Laguna Hills Merced 
Newhall Oakland Coliseum Pasadena Pittsburg 
Pleasanton Pomona Poway Rancho Cucamonga 
Riverside East Roseville Sacramento San Bernardino 
San Diego Clairemont San Luis Obispo San Mateo San Ysidro 
Santa Clara South Lake Tahoe South Sacramento Temecula 
Thousand Oaks Torrance Tracy Turlock 
Van Nuys Ventura Victorville Visalia 
West Covina Westminster 
To safeguard the health of employees and customers, the DMV temporarily closed all offices to the public March 27. Following cleaning of the offices, expansion of virtual services and development of new protocols, the DMV is reopening offices in stages. The DMV is selecting offices to reopen based on location, size, service capacity and the ability to offer enhanced service to commercial driver license customers. Behind-the-wheel drive tests continue to be suspended.
Employees will maintain physical distancing while serving customers with existing appointments and Californians in need of selected transactions that can only be completed in a DMV field office, including:
Paying registration for a vehicle impounded because of registration-related issues
Reinstating a suspended or revoked driver license
Applying for a reduced-fee or no-fee identification card
Processing commercial driver license transactions
Applying for a disabled person parking placards (this can also be done by mail using the REG 195 form)
Adding an ambulance certificate or firefighter endorsement to a driver license
Verifying a transit training document to drive a transit bus.
Processing DMV Express customers for REAL ID transactions, if time and space allow
In order to focus field office services to these select transactions, DMV staff may direct customers to online services and other available options to complete their transactions.
Employees in the remainder of DMV’s 170 public offices will provide services through the Virtual Field Office. The DMV plans to continue reopening these offices to the public in phases during the coming weeks. More information on office openings will be provided on the DMV website.
In addition to physical distancing, employees have access to disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, facial shields, gloves and soap and water. The DMV also is providing hand-washing stations for customer use in select locations. Customers are required to wear a face covering and remain 6 feet apart in line. Customers will also be offered a text message that will allow them to wait outside the building until notified they are ready to be served. Entry into the building will be metered, and customers may experience extended wait times.
Californians who do not have an urgent need to go to a DMV field office should delay their visit.
The DMV continues to provide essential services via mail, online, kiosks, call centers, available business partners and virtually to process critical transactions, including eligible driver license and vehicle registration renewals, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers can use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.
The DMV has taken a number of actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
Extending driver licenses that expire between March 1 and July 31, 2020. Drivers 70 years and older are receiving a 120-day temporary paper extension in the mail, and drivers 69 and younger can request a free temporary paper extension online.
Keeping expiring commercial licenses, learner’s permits, endorsements and certificates valid through June 30, 2020.
Extending identification cards expiring on or after March 4, 2020, to be valid through June 21, 2020.
Waiving late fees and penalties for vehicle registration renewals due between March 16 and May 31, 2020, and paid within 60 days of the original expiration date, as well as delaying other requirements.
Temporarily waiving required in-person renewals for eligible driver license and identification cardholders with expirations between March and May 2020. Individuals who meet the criteria are able to renew online or by mail.
Launching the DMV Virtual Field Office to create new digital options for transactions that previously required an in-person office visit.
Extending driver license permits expiring between March and August 2020.
Canceling all behind-the-wheel drive tests to honor social distancing guidelines. 
Suspending extended office hours and Saturday service.
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DMV site updates Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

We are going through uncertain times. When will businesses reopen and life goes back to normal again?

As a driving instructor and owner of A-Z Driving School located in Downtown San Jose, I get many questions from my students such as: When will the DMVs in the Bay Area reopen? So I did my due diligence and visited their website for accurate and up to date answers. And to date the DMV is still closed so no walk-ins for the Knowledge test and the Drive test. This is the site I advised my students to check for accurate (no rumors) and up to date answers: http://www.dmv.ca.gov. After all we are entrusted to pass on correct information, and not rumors.

I will include a link on this site (A-ZDrivingSchool.com), and start posting articles published by the DMV to provide site visitors helpful information.