LINCOLN – Governor Pete Ricketts issued executive orders Thursday that will increase flexibility in requirements for Nebraska residents relating to driver licensing and vehicle registration requirements … and to restaurants and bars as they continue to serve Nebraskans during the coronavirus 2019 disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Acknowledging the restrictions in place to limit the spread of COVID-19, the Governor is extending driver licenses and vehicle registrations expiring on or after March 1st. The extension will remain in effect until 30 days after the order is lifted.
- Driver Licenses or State IDs – The extension will apply to all driver licenses, state identification cards, permits, or other credential issued by the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles. Customers will still be able to renew credentials online; however, the aim is to reduce the number of individuals requiring in-person assistance. This step will assist with social distancing and reduce the need for people to travel to driver licensing offices.
- Vehicle Titling & Registrations – Any vehicle title requirements, registrations, in-transit tags, or motor carrier temporary documents due to expire on or after March 1st will be extended until 30 days after this executive order is lifted.
- IFTA requirements – Any Nebraska penalties or interest associated with late filing of quarterly returns for members of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) will be waived.
- Ignition Interlock Providers – Monthly inspection and reporting requirements under the ignition interlock program will be provided a two-week extension period for all existing interlock customers. Additional extensions may be available, as determined on a case-by-case basis.
The Department of Motor Vehicles will continue to look at ways to assist our customers impacted by the restrictions put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.
All Nebraska residents are encouraged to take advantage of the dozens of online services available at dmv.nebraska.gov.
Gov. Ricketts also issued an Executive Order to Provide Relief to Restaurants and Bars during COVID-19 Emergency.
In keeping with federal guidelines, the State of Nebraska has issued guidance that restaurants and bars are currently limited to 10 patrons as part of a nationwide social distancing effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
On March 19th, the State of Nebraska directed restaurants and bars in Cass, Douglas, Sarpy, and Washington counties to close their dining / seating areas and move to takeout, carry-out, or delivery only. This action came after the Douglas County Public Health Department reported its second case of COVID-19 that officials could not trace to its origin (commonly known as a “community spread” case).
The Governor’s executive order will permit restaurants and bars statewide greater flexibility to serve Nebraskans during the current public health emergency.
- Liquor Licensing – Establishments such as pizza parlors (Class A license holders) will be able to sell beer to customers on take-out or delivery orders. Restaurants (Class I license holders) will be able to sell beer, wine, and spirits to customers placing take-out or delivery orders.
- Sale of Alcohol – To encourage social distancing, restaurants and bars will be permitted to sell alcohol on drive-thru or curbside orders without customers having to exit their motor vehicles.
- Temporary Operating Permits – Temporary operating permits will be extended from 90 to 180 days.
- Waiver of Excise Tax Penalties – Excise tax payees still have the duty to file and pay the excise tax according to statute. However, the executive order will waive penalties for late payments.
- Payment of wine and spirit deliveries – Under normal circumstances, wine and spirit deliveries must be paid within 30 days. The executive order will give restaurants and bars 90 days to pay for wine and spirit deliveries for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. The requirement that beer deliveries be paid upon delivery is not changed.