In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, state Offices of Motor Vehicles (OMV) nationwide have closed driver licensing offices, extended license and registration expiration dates, and/or limited the transactions they are processing. With the Lake Charles and Sulphur OMV offices still closed due to significant hurricane damage and no re-opening dates yet announced, how do we renew a driver’s license or car registration, take the tests required to get a driver’s license, or any of the many other reasons we visit the local OMV?
The OMVs in Jennings and DeQuincy are open, but the latter requires an appointment. Most OMV functions can be managed by mail or online at dmv.org/la or expresslane.org. If possible, residents should use the OMV’s online services to complete relevant transactions. But there are some exceptions and alternative ways to conduct business.
Many Auto Title Companies and Public Tag Agents have assumed the functions of the OMV. Tara Pederson, owner at Pedersen Title Co., says they offer most OMV services regardless of their closure. “The main services people utilize are vehicle registration/license plates, handicap hang tags, duplicate titles, duplicate driver’s license/ID, DL/ID renewals, and notary public work. We also process quite a few learner’s permits and intermediate DLs,” she says. We do not offer CDLs, Temporary Instructional Permit (TIP) cards, reinstatement clearance, and out of state driver’s license transfers.
For first-time driver’s license applicants, Pedersen says a student must first be issued a TIP card from an OMV office such as the Jennings location and register with a local driving school. Students take both their written and driving tests at the driving school. Once the student has a TIP card they are able to utilize a title company for their learner’s permit and intermediate driver’s license.
Pedersen says title companies such as hers are also able to issue REAL ID cards. “Beginning October 1, 2021, in order to board a domestic flight (any flight within the United States) a REAL ID or valid U.S. passport will be required. A passport is STILL required for international travel regardless of REAL ID status.” Pedersen suggests customers call before coming to ensure they have all proper documentation required.
For more information, call Pedersen Title Co. at 337-478-5454.