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Expiring driver’s licenses good for another 30 days as offices try to limit lines

Offices are shifting to appointments-only or on-line transactions.

Floridians whose driver’s licenses are set to expire before April 15 will get a 30-day extension for renewals while offices providing those and other such services transition to online or appointments-only service to avoid crowds during the new coronavirus pandemic.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry Rhodes issued an emergency order Monday extending all Florida driver licenses and identification cards that will expire in the next 30 days and waiving delinquent renewal fees.

More than 130,000 driver’s licenses and identification cards are set to expire in the next 30 days.

Meanwhile, throughout Florida, county Tax Collectors are taking individual approaches to try to limit crowds and lines at the local government offices most known for crowds and lines, tag and license offices. Tax Collectors offices also handle everything from tax payments to concealed weapon permits. Many of the services can be arranged online.

The offices are not closing, yet. But by Wednesday, most will stop taking walk-ins.

Most of the state’s 67 county Tax Collectors met by telephone Monday afternoon to assess what was expected and how they might comply with guidelines published Sunday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control that discourage any gatherings of more than 50 people.

They are doing so by encouraging as many people as possible to transact their business online or to make appointments. Some offices, such as those in Orange County, are being restricted by security guards who allow only 50 people at a time into the offices. In some cases, the offices also are restricting entry to only people seeking the services, telling parents, children, spouses and friends to wait outside.

Monday afternoon, President Donald Trump announced federal authorities now recommend gatherings be limited to no more than 10 people. Ramifications of that recommendation are not yet considered.

“We are very much encouraging everybody to do as much online as possible,” said Orange County Tax Collector Scott Randolph.

In keeping with what the state is doing, Seminole County Tax Collector Joel Greenberg suspended all road testing, including previously arranged appointments, until further notice.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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