California DMV to Shut Down All 176 Field Offices

NBC Universal, Inc.

The DMV has informed its employees it will shut down all 176 field offices starting Friday because of coronavirus concerns, the NBCLA I-Team has learned. 

The announcement was made just hours after another DMV employee tested positive for novel coronavirus. Employees have said the decision to close down couldn't come soon enough.

Those workers will be expected to return to their offices on April 1, and will begin conducting “virtual transactions” with customers April 2. 

The closures come after the Fullerton DMV closed down, after an employee was diagnosed with COVID-19. All day angry customers showed up, thinking they could renew licenses and vehicle registrations that were about to expire.

Hours after that Fullerton office was closed, the DMV sent a memo to its workers, saying it will "close its facilities" statewide starting Friday to "address employee health and safety concerns."

One DMV employee speaking anonymously said they were "ecstatic" and they've been stressed, and concerned about their health.

Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

For more than a week, DMV employees across California have been sharing their fears with the I-Team about being required to work in close proximity with the public and their colleagues.

The DMV said while its offices are closed, they will undergo an "enhanced cleaning" so employees can return to work April 1 to learn how to conduct "virtual transactions" with members of the public. 

Employees tell NBCLA they were told by their bosses that DMV offices will remain closed to the public beyond April 1. License and registration renewals can made virtually. NBCLA reached out to the DMV for more information on that but haven't yet heard back.

The DMV has limited hours and only allows customers in with an appointment after an NBC4 I-Team report showed that there were potential problems with exposure during the coronavirus pandemic. Joel Grover reports for the NBC4 News on Friday, March 20, 2020.
Employees at California DMV offices are possibly being exposed to the coronavirus by simply being at work. Joel Grover reported on NBC4 News at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

Editor's note: An earlier version listed an incorrect number of field offices.

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