The Oregon Department of Transportation announced Friday that local law enforcement officers will exercise discretion in their enforcement of driver licenses, vehicle registrations and trip permits that expire during the COVID-19 state of emergency declared by Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

The Oregon State Police, Oregon Association of Chiefs of Police and Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association have all agreed to support this “grace period” for enforcing any expired vehicle documentation, according to ODOT.  

“During this current public health emergency, times are hard enough,” Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton said in a statement. “The added stress of driving without a valid license or registration is one barrier we can eliminate. Our mission is to protect, not unnecessarily penalize, Oregonians.”  

The grace period is in place to reduce the need for Oregonians to visit a DMV office during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.  

Although Oregon DMV offices mostly remain open, they are following guidelines including restricting customers in offices to 10 people or fewer at a time. Some offices may also need to close due to staffing shortages, according to ODOT.  

Motorists visit a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2014.

Motorists visit a South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles office in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 27, 2014.

Bruce Smith/AP

Therefore, all Oregonians should be calling their local offices ahead of time if they are planning to visit the DMV.

This grace period is especially helpful for people living in the Portland metro area and in Medford, where vehicles must be inspected by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality before renewing registration.

The Oregon DEQ has suspended vehicle emissions testing, ODOT said, so people in those areas are not currently able to renew their vehicle registrations.  

Most other Oregonians can still renew vehicle registration through the mail or online.  

“Even if your tags just expired, you can renew online and print the receipt to take in your car as proof of registration,” ODOT said.  

Many other DMV services are available online through the DMV’s website and through mail.