Birmingham drivers license offices are closed—what to do?

Birmingham, Driver's Way, cars, Kyndall Stoker
Back when we could just get in the car and drive. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Some of the unexpected side effects of the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 crisis include—sorry 16-year olds—not being able to get a new driver’s license right now. Since Birmingham driver’s license offices are closed, we’ve got the shortlist of what you can (and can’t) do during this time.

We’ve got a few of the highlights (and lowlights) for you here, and whatever we missed, you can find over here at Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Driver’s License page.

What you can’t do while driver’s license offices are closed:

You can still celebrate sweet 16, but no driver’s license for now. Photo via Dreamcakes

Just like most other workplaces, the good folks who bring us our driver’s license are doing their part to #flattenthecurve and keep all of us safe. So, these things are on the big no list for the time being:

  • 1st-time drivers’ licenses ☹️
  • 1st-time CDLs 🚛
  • 1st-time ID cards
  • tests for any reason
  • out-of-state license transfers
  • foreign national renewals
  • boat registrations (1st time or transfers) 🚤
  • ignition interlock licenses (required for some people who’ve had DUIs in the past)

If you’re following #shelterinplace orders, these restrictions make a lot of sense. Of course it’s disappointing for some and a real hassle for others.

That said, all is not lost.

Here’s what DMV staff can still help with while offices are closed:

Notice the STAR? The deadline to get your Alabama STAR ID is October 1, 2020. Screenshot from of AP photo
  • Online renewals—if you can’t for whatever reason, there’s a 60-day grace period:
    • drivers license
    • Commercial Drivers Licenses
    • ID
    • hardship license
  • Renewals by snail mail—Alabama drivers who are out of state for these reasons qualify (others decided case-by-case)
    • military
    • employment
    • missionary work
    • under a doctor’s care
  • If you need a hearing, you can request one online, by snail mail or by fax.
  • Name change requests can be made via mail or email. Hop over here for more details.
  • Reinstate a license, order driver history or order crash reports. Call 334.242.4400, email driverlicenseinfo@alea.gov or mail. Pay via credit card.

Find the full list of online services here.

Now tell us, Birmingham, what are you doing to #shelterinplace? Tag us on social @bhamnow and let us know. We want to hear from you.