News

DMV Encourages Californians to Change to a REAL ID with Changing of Seasons

Sacramento – More than 14.3 million Californians now have a REAL ID as the federal enforcement date of May 3, 2023, approaches, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data. This is a 234,116 increase from the previous month.

“Fall is in the air and Halloween is just around the corner. Not all changes are brisk or scary – getting a REAL ID for example,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “All you have to do is fill out an online application, upload your documents and make a quick trip to the DMV. Come on down, no need to wait.”

Beginning next May, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved document, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities.

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians should visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov, fill out the online application and upload their documents. Customers must visit a DMV office and bring their uploaded documents to complete the application. Customers need to provide:

  • Proof of identity* – One original or certified document (example: valid passport, birth certificate)
    *Legal name change document(s) is required if name on proof of identity is different from the name on the other documents (example: marriage certificate, adoption papers)
  • Proofs of California residency – Two documents, paper copies (example: utility bill, bank statement)
  • Social Security number (exceptions may apply)

Visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov for a complete list of acceptable documents and a link to the online application.

Historical REAL ID information:

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of October 1, 2022:         14,328,554
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of September 1, 2022:    14,094,438
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as October 1, 2021:             11,661,231

Online Services

The DMV has taken many steps to offer more digital services. Most DMV tasks do not require an office visit. The DMV encourages customers to use its online services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

To sign up for paperless vehicle registration and driver’s license renewal notices, customers must sign in or create a secure online account at dmv.ca.gov, and then opt in.

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