How To Replace Your California Drivers License

If your California drivers license has been lost, stolen or destroyed, you'll need to get it replaced immediately. We offer links to resources that will save you time and get you going in the right direction. Select from the options below to get started.

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1: Get Started with Online Application Assistance

Online application assistance services in California can facilitate the processes involved in many DMV related services by providing invaluable information and step-by-step instruction on how best to proceed. Whether you are looking to renew, replace or get a new CA driver’s license or ID card, online application assistance services can help with these and many more. Other benefits include one-click access to an entire inventory of official California forms and publications, as well as other useful CA resources.

2: By mail

Some drivers prefer to handle the renewal process by mail, rather than taking advantage of assistance services, visiting the DMV in person, or via available online services. Service by mail is available with limitations. Read below for additional details or visit your local DMV.

3: Via a DMV office

If your specific needs require an in-person visit, most, if not all, driver license services can be handled at your local DMV office. Varying DMV offices sometimes supply different types of services so you will need to check before your visit to make sure the DMV closest to you provides the service you require. In addition, you can call to see if your DMV allows you to make a personal appointment.

Replacing Your California Drivers License

If your California license has been lost or stolen, you can replace it quickly and easily at any California Department of Motor Vehicles office. Drivers can expedite the process if they make an appointment at a local driver licence office.

Although not a law, anyone who loses their license should report the loss at their local police station before applying for a drivers license replacement or duplicate.  Otherwise, drivers will need to wait in line to replace California drivers license.

DMV Procedures

Drivers should request a California drivers license replacement application form (DL44) on arrival. This form can be completed while waiting to see a representative.

A DL44 form cannot be downloaded online, however it can be mailed to a driver upon calling the DMV and requesting the replacement form.

It is advised the applicants replacing their license generate and download the required form and checklist. These documents will help save time and ensure have the driver will have the correct documentation when visiting the DMV office in person.


The DMV will verify a driver's identity with:

  • Social Security number
  • Photo
  • Personal details on file
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate  

Once the documentation and completed forms have been presented, the California DMV will issue the applicant a temporary California drivers license. The replacement drivers license is valid for 90 days, or until the full drivers license replacement is delivered.

Drivers should check that all personal details are correct before they leave and pay the $29 fee for the duplicate Class A, Class B or class C license. For seniors, there is no fee required when replacing a California drivers license.

Out-of-State Replacement

If your drivers license is lost or damaged while traveling out of state, you cannot replace it until you return to California. Call the DMV for more information about the procedures.

What is an Adult Drivers License?

In some states, the layout of your drivers license may change when you reach a certain age. It is possible for your license to switch from a vertical design to a horizontal card once you turn 21. You may want to seek out a duplicate or replacement adult drivers license when you reach the age of 21.

For a list of related  services, please see below: