Changes coming to DMV, license renewals to help stop spread of COVID-19

Posted at 9:29 PM, Mar 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-19 22:56:44-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Governor Bill Lee is changing how DMVs will operate in the state during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Even after the CDC and President Trump encouraged people to use social distancing, the DMV continued to see crowded waiting rooms. Thus, the state will be limiting 10 people inside the facility at any given time to comply with the CDC guidelines.

A digital ticketing plan will also be implemented so that people can sit in their vehicles instead of in the waiting area. They also encouraged anyone who can to use their online services.

The governor is loosening the state's license renewal regulations, meaning if a driver's license expires between March 19 and May 19, their license will be automatically extended for six months.

"We the department will issue a letter of extension to you and mail that to you automatically and you will be carrying that with you and required to keep it with you in the event you need to show your drivers license," explained Commissioner Safety & Homeland Security Jeff Long

Use the Dept. of Safety and Homeland Security's online services if possible.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.