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California DMV answers questions from News 8 viewers

Officials say that many services can be done online and through the mail and they have a call center open (800-777-0133) to answer questions over the phone.

SAN DIEGO — With so many government offices closed right now amid the worldwide coronavirus pandemic, there is understandably a lot of confusion about how to get things done. News 8 viewers say this is especially true when it comes to the California DMV.  So we asked officials from the agency to answer some of your most common questions.

If your car registration is due this month and you need to get a smog inspection, can that inspection be delayed?

If a smog certificate is required and you have not had a smog inspection, you still have to pay your registration fees to avoid any late fees. You can wait to get your smog inspection, but you will not receive your new registration or year sticker until the smog information has been received by the DMV.

The DMV says it has passed along this information to law enforcement throughout the state - requesting discretion before officers and deputies issue citations for driving with a recently expired registration.

I have an appointment coming up, but the office is closed. What happens to my appointment?

Appointments during the closure have been canceled. The DMV is looking into how to accommodate customers with canceled appointments when offices reopen. Officials add that many services can be done online and through the mail and they have a call center open (800-777-0133) to answer questions over the phone.

If I pay my registration online with a credit or debit card, there is a 2.1% processing charge. Can that fee be waived during these times?

The DMV says there is nothing they can do about that fee because the money doesn't go to them. Instead, it’s kept by the vendor who processes the payments. But the DMV did offer a money-saving tip for online payments: Customers can choose the e-check payment option to avoid the credit/debit service fee online.

When will DMV offices reopen?

Right now, there is no specific date for offices to reopen. The goal is to deep clean facilities and reopen at least some offices in every region as soon as it is safe to do so. Offices will likely reopen with new protocols to try and keep everyone as safe as possible.