Ricketts issues Executive Order temporarily waiving in-person license renewal requirements for older drivers

Staff Writer
Syracuse Journal-Democrat

At his daily coronavirus briefing on May 26, Governor Pete Ricketts announced an executive order waiving the requirement for older Nebraskans to renew their driver’s licenses in-person.  Normally, Nebraskans age 72 or older must appear in-person to renew a license.  However, the coronavirus has made it advisable to practice social distancing to encourage health and safety.

As a result of the Governor’s executive order, Class O and motorcycle licenses set to expire from March 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020—for Nebraskans 72 or older—will be extended for one year from the date of expiration printed on the license.

Rhonda Lahm, Director of the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), joined Gov. Ricketts for this afternoon’s press briefing.  She talked about the Governor’s executive order and other steps the DMV has taken to serve Nebraskans while promoting physical distancing.

Gov. Ricketts: Test Nebraska

We continue to encourage people to take the TestNebraska.com assessment.

I want to remind folks about the Test Nebraska schedule for this week:

Test sites are operating in Omaha, Lincoln, Hastings, Kearney, York, Seward, Beatrice, and Clay Center.

Take the assessment and sign up for a test if you qualify.

Gov. Ricketts: DMV

Throughout this pandemic, we have been taking extra steps to ensure vital services are still available to the residents of Nebraska.

An example of these are the services offered by the DMV.

The department has continued to provide services in counties that remained open throughout the last couple of months, taking extra care to keep our customers and teammates safe.

The department made an extra effort to engage with third-party driving schools to ensure those residents who needed a CDL license were able to get one.

This partnership has helped over 700 new commercial (CDL) drivers obtain their licenses since March 1.

Furthermore, to aid our continued pandemic response and to help protect vulnerable Nebraskans, I have signed Executive Order 20-25.  It will extend driver licenses for Nebraskans who are 72 years of age and older for one year.

This will help ensure that many of our seniors do not wait in the DMV for service while we are trying to protect them and slow the spread of the virus.

Director Lahm: DMV

The Governor’s executive order is a great step to help safeguard our older population in Nebraska.

This executive order will extend the expiration date of all driver licenses, for drivers aged 72 and older, whose license expires between March 1 and December 31, 2020 for one year from the date of expiration.

DMV services have continued to be available in all counties where the DMV has been able to provide service.  However, due to the closure of county offices and other buildings, many DMV locations have been temporarily closed.

In March, the Governor’s executive order extended the expiration date for all driver’s licenses and state IDs until 30 days after the emergency declaration is lifted.

This was great news for our customers who no longer had to rush to renew their license.  However, when we suspended drive tests, we had more than a few disappointed teenagers.

Drive tests will begin again tomorrow (Wednesday, May 27).

Services will be available in all counties where courthouses are open to walk-in public traffic.

We will continue to operate our standard practice for drive tests in the Omaha Metro South office in Bellevue.

To set up a drive test, customers can give us a call to schedule their appointment.

Details can be found on our website at dmv.nebraska.gov.

We have taken a number of steps to increase our capacity throughout the state, including in the Omaha Metro area.

We are reassigning teammates, hiring temporary staff, and extending our operating hours in facilities where we are permitted to do so in order to increase our service capacity.

We anticipate being able to administer more than double our standard capacity of skills tests in the Omaha Metro area.  We will ramp up further capacity as more temporary teammates come on board.

Our teammates will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment to help safeguard the health and safety of our customers and examiners.

Given the confined quarters of the vehicle, and consistent with recommendations from CDC and OSHA, we will require our customers to wear a face covering while participating in a drive test.

We are asking anyone who is unwell to please stay home.  We will be happy to reschedule your drive test for a different day.

I know many people are wondering when their local DMV office will reopen.  This depends on decisions made by local county officials.

As soon as the county lets us know the date they intend to reopen, we will publish the date DMV services will be available on our website.

As counties choose to open their offices again to walk-in public traffic, we will resume services in these locations.

Lastly, I would like to remind everyone of the services available on our website at dmv.nebraska.gov.

We look forward to being able to resume full services across the state as soon as possible.

Read the Governor’s latest executive order by clicking here.