SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California’s Department of Motor Vehicles announced that beginning Friday it will be closing all of its field locations through the end of March due to the coronavirus to begin a move toward providing essential services virtually.

“Field offices will be temporarily closed to the public statewide beginning March 27 and reopen, virtually, on April 2,” the DMV said in a news release. “All in-office appointments at this time will be canceled. Customers are encouraged to check the dmv.ca.gov website for future appointment availability.”

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The department said all field employees will return on Wednesday, April 1, to process transactions and begin training on the DMV’s virtual field office, which began a limited pilot on Monday.

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“The Virtual Field Office gives customers the capability to take care of transactions that previously required an in-person office visit by virtually interacting with DMV staff,” the news release said. “Beginning April 2, 2020, customers initially can complete vehicle title transfers and complex vehicle registration renewals by visiting virtual.dmv.ca.gov. The DMV will gradually add more transactions to continue to provide alternatives to an in-person office visit.”

Following the closures on Friday, the DMV said essential services will continue in this period by mail, through available online services and the hundreds of kiosks throughout the state.

The department said the offices will also be thoroughly cleaned to help protect customers and employees from COVID-19.

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It was also previously announced that the deadline to get a REAL ID was pushed back a year to Oct. 1, 2021.