drivers license

Connecticut Driver’s License Renewal: A Complete Guide

Zutobi
by Zutobi · Updated Apr 30, 2021

Is it time for your Connecticut driver’s license renewal? No worries! We offer the latest information in this handy guide.

When Do I Need to Renew My Connecticut License?

In Connecticut, you can renew your license up to six months before it expires.

  • Most driver’s licenses are currently valid for six years. However, Connecticut is phasing into eight-year licenses. Whether your next license renewal will be for six or eight years is computer-generated.
  • REAL-ID’s are valid for eight years.
  • Seniors ages 65 and up can choose a two-year license renewal
  • Drive-only licenses are good for three years.

If your license has been expired for more than two years, you will need to apply for a new one.

What is the Grace Period for an Expired Driver’s License in Connecticut?

While you can take up to two years to renew your license, you cannot drive with an expired license. If you are caught, it will be considered an infraction with a fee between $75 to $90. If you still drive with an expired license, the penalty jumps to $250 to $300, and you could face up to thirty days of jail time.

Grace Period’s During COVID-19

A few exceptions to the law were made to accommodate the safety restrictions during COVID-19

  1. If your license expired between March 1, 2020 and December 31st, 2020, your license was extended one year past the expiration date on your card.
  1. If your license expired between January 1, 2021, and March 31, 2021, your license remains valid until Dec 31, 2021.
  2. New residents: If you moved to Connecticut after March 10, 2020 during Covid, the deadline for obtaining your licenses, registrations, and inspections was extended to 180 days.

How to Renew a Connecticut Driver’s License

The state of Connecticut allows drivers to renew their driver’s licenses in a couple of different ways. We will go through them all below. 

Renewing Your License Online

You can renew online if you meet ALL the following criteria:

  • You are a US citizen
  • You took a new photo the last time you renewed your license.
  • You are not applying for a REAL-ID for the first time. First-time application MUST be done in person
  • You do not have a Drive Only License. These must be renewed in person.
  • Your license is not suspended or revoked
  • Your license is current or expired for LESS than two years
  • You do not need to update your legal name

How to Renew Online

  1. Gather Your Information. You will need
    • Your name exactly as it appears on your current license
    • Date of birth
    • Street Address
    • Driver’s License Number
    • Social Security Number
    • A Credit or Debit Card
  2. Renew at the DMV Renewal Page.
  3. Pay the required fees with your debit or credit card.
  4. Your card will arrive in the mail in about 20 days.

Renewing by Mail or Email

You can request to renew by mail in the following scenarios:

  • Active Military. If you are active military or were honorably discharged within 60 days of your renewal, you can request to renew by mail for free.
    • Complete Form B-350
    • Complete Form B-88 to waive the renewal fee.
    • Make sure you include your Connecticut resident address and an out of state mailing address
  • Medically Unable to Appear. If you have a major medical condition that prevents you from going to the DMV, you can request to renew by mail.
    • Complete Form B-350
    • Complete Form CI-1
    • Complete Form B-147 if you need to downgrade from a driver’s license to a state id.
  • Temporarily Out of State. Have your license mailed to your out-of-state address and Form B-350.
  • Incarcerated. Have your license mailed to your facility. You will need to provide your inmate number and fill out Form B-350.

How to Renew by Mail/Email

If you match any of the scenarios above, you can follow these steps to renew your Connecticut driver’s license by mail.

  1. Fill out the required information listed above
  2. If you are sending via USPS, mail the complete packet and all required materials to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT  06109
Attention:  Central Issuance Operations Unit

Make out a check or money order to “DMV.” You can find the appropriate fees here, or further down in this article.

  1. If you are going to email your application, send everything except the payment to DMV.CIU@ct.gov. You will receive a payment link within three business days to complete your renewal.

Renewing in Person

You will need to renew in person if you do not qualify to renew by mail or online.

Here is the process to renew in person.

  1. Make sure you are eligible to renew. If your license is expired for more than two years, you will need to apply for a whole new license. If your license is suspended or revoked, you can not renew it until you have it reinstated.
  2. Gather Your Information.
    1. Your application invitation, if applicable
    2. Your current driver’s license
    3. If you do not have your driver’s license, you will need to provide proof of identity.
    4. If you are applying for a REAL-ID, you will also need the documents listed on the CT.gov portal
    5. If your name changed, you will need to provide proof like a marriage certificate, a divorce certificate, or adult adoption papers.
    6. If you are active military or honorably discharged, you will need Form B-88 to waive the renewal fees.
  3. Make an appointment. Appointments can be made at a DMV office, select AAA and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union locations (Milford | North Haven | Norwalk), or the West Haven City Hall.
  4. Pay the appropriate renewal fees.
  5. You will receive your card in the mail in about 20 days. You can track the status of your new card here.

Connecticut Driver’s License Renewal Fees

Fees will vary as the Connecticut DMV phases in the new 8 year licenses. Here are the current fees at the time of writing. 

  • $72 for a six-year license
  • $96 for an eight-year license
  • $24 for a two-year renewal (Option for ages 65+)
  • $25 for late fees
  • Up to $8 in convenience fees if you visit a non-DMV location.

Do I Need a REAL-ID?

You are not required to upgrade to a REAL-ID at this time. However, starting Oct 1, 2021, you will be unable to use your standard driver’s license as a federal ID. Unless you have a REAL-ID, unexpired US passport, or another federally approved id, you will be unable to enter

  • Some Federal Buildings
  • Military Bases
  • Domestic Airplanes
  • Nuclear Facilities
  • Any other location that requires a federal ID

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about renewing your Connecticut driver’s license. We hope this guide has helped you understand the process and the steps you need to complete to make your visit at the DMV a success! And if you need any help with renewal exams, then you’ve come to the right place

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