Deadline looms for those 70-plus to renew driver’s license online

Q. Have you heard if Gov. Gavin Newsom is going to extend the time frame for seniors to renew noncommercial driver’s licenses online?

– Joyce Gassert, Chatsworth

A. He is not, and it is very unlikely that the California Legislature will either.

When Newsom decided that most drivers 70 and over could renew online or via mail instead of heading into a Department of Motor Vehicles office, there was a state emergency in place because of the pandemic that allowed him to do so.

The declared state emergency ended, and the Legislature stepped in to extend the program. It could do so again, but there is no such bill floating around Sacramento right now.

So expect that nifty opportunity to expire on Dec. 31.

Generally, a driver can renew a license three months before it expires, so if you qualify and have a birthday in early 2023, you might be able to slide in under the deadline.

Younger motorists can oftentimes renew without having to go into a DMV office.

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Q. Do you have a government email address or phone number that I can use to contact someone about all of the closed rest stops?

– Mark Einbund, Woodland Hills

A. Mark asked Honk back in June what the heck was going on with some of California’s rest stops, which take some rather long rests themselves.

Back then, Honk zeroed in on the Gaviota rest stops on each side of Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Lompoc. They had been closed for a year at that point, with the wastewater system in need of repair. Caltrans at the time didn’t know when they would reopen, but now the agency has a date: Feb. 1.

Honk also inquired back then about the Camp Roberts rest areas, on the 101 well north of Paso Robles, which closed about a year ago and were to open this past September. A creaky wastewater system is again to blame. They are now scheduled to re-open on March 1.

Caltrans has reeled off various reasons to Honk as to why it takes so long to get rest areas back in action: These are big, complicated improvements over the original 1970s systems, rising prices can outrun budgets, and, in recent years, there have been supply-chain woes. They have to deploy crews out to remote spots, too.

You can see which ones are open by going to

Now, Mark, to answer your question: Honk talked with Alexa Bertola, a spokeswoman for Caltrans’ District 5, which includes those rest stops mentioned above, and she said you can contact officials there via email: If there are other rest areas you have thoughts about, outside of that district, drop Honk an email and he will get you contact info.

HONKIN’ FACT: Sleepy motorists crashed 11,000 times in California in 2019 and 2020, the latest data available, injuring 6,411 people and killing 73, said Fran Clader, the director of communications for the California Highway Patrol. Statistics show that drivers 16 to 25 years of age are “at the greatest risk of falling asleep at the wheel,” she said.

To ask Honk questions, reach him at He only answers those that are published. To see Honk online: Twitter: @OCRegisterHonk

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