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Driver License: Change in Law (Policy?) re Expiration Date


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In the past my driver license expired in a certain year on my birthday (22nd). When I renewed my license today (January 14th), the expiration day was not my birthday or the last day of January, but the 14th (today, the day the renewal was processed). When I questioned this expiration date, the agent told me the law has been changed so the new expiration day for your license is the same as the renewal day -- not an individual's birthday or the last day of the birth month.

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Maybe we are misunderstanding how things work regarding license expiration, but it seems as if there is an issue here. Maybe someone can clarify.

If a driver license now expires on the day that your renewal is processed then what happens in the renewal month a few years down the road (pardon the play on words)? Suppose Marcelyn is traveling during the month and can't get to SERTRACEN until after her license has expired, even if it is prior to her birthday? My interpretation is that she would be driving without a valid license.

Going a little bit to the extreme, suppose someone is born early in the month and they have only a few days to renew before expiration? It is our understanding that you cannot renew in the month prior, so it seems to be a catch-22 situation. Actually, we have a niece who was born on January 1st. Seems like she would be in hot water if she lived in Panama. There is no way she could renew in a timely manner.

Where is the fault in our logic?

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Yes, it is new policy, at least for our household. Here are the stats.

  • My first driver license was issued in April 2005, and expired on August 31, 2009 (which is the last day of my birth month).
  • My second driver license was issued in August 2009 and expired on August 31, 2013 (which is the last day of my birth month).
  • My third (current) driver license was issued in August 2013, and expires on August 31, 2017 (which is the last day of my birth month).
  • Marcelyn's first driver license was issued in August 2013, and expired on January 31, 2015 (which is the last day of her birth month).
  • Marcelyn's second driver license was issued in January 2015, and set to expire on January 31, 2017 (which is the last day of her birth month).
  • Marcelyn's third (current) driver license was issued in January 2017, and is set to expire on January 14, 2019. This is the license that was renewed a couple of days ago.

Can you see the pattern here? That pattern has now changed.

It appears that the law or policy changed sometime after April 2015 and before June 2016.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that you can renew your driver license in the month prior to your birth month.

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Same happened to me. Expires  4 years (I'm under 70)after renewal date, not the calendar date in the years after my current license expires. So that also means you aren't getting the full calendar  years that you paid for if you pay early. The expiration date shouldn't change to penalize you if you renew early. 

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