REAL ID Act
Before you renew your driver license or identification card, or apply for one, you must choose between a REAL ID card and a federal non-compliant one. Use our REAL ID infographic (PDF) to help you decide which one is right for you.
NOTE: Customers applying for or renewing an AB 60 driver license are not eligible to receive a REAL ID driver license.
If you choose to get a REAL ID license or ID card you must go into a DMV field office and present original or certified documents proving your identity, Social Security number and residency. Additional original or certified documents will be required if you have changed your legal name. Find out if you have the correct documents:
You have a choice:
Customers have a choice between a federal compliant REAL ID driver license or identification (ID) card or a federal non-compliant driver license or ID card:
DRIVER LICENSE / ID CARD:
- To apply, you must visit a DMV field office and present original or certified documents (no photocopies) proving your identity, Social Security number, and residency (photocopies accepted). Additional original or certified documents are also required if you have changed your legal name.
- You can use it to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility that requires identification, including after the new federal requirements begins on October 1, 2020.
DRIVER LICENSE / ID CARD:
- You can renew online or mail (if eligible), without going into a DMV field office.
- You can NOT use it to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility that requires identification –such as a military base- STARTING October 1, 2020. (You will have to use some other valid identification such as a valid U.S. Passport).
- This card has the phrase "FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY" on the front of the card.
How Do I Get a REAL ID?
- Plan your DMV visit by making an appointment to visit a field office. (This is not a requirement but strongly recommended)
- Complete the electronic driver license and ID card application online before your office visit.
- See the List of documents to apply for a REAL ID and bring original or certified documents to your DMV visit that prove the following:
Identity, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, permanent resident card, or unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form.
NOTE: Name change documents, such as a certified marriage certificate, if the name on your identity document (for example, a birth certificate) is different than your current legal name.
Social Security number, such as Social Security Card (here’s how to order a replacement one) or W-2 form with full SSN.
California residency, such as home utility bill that lists your name and physical address (a P.O. Box can be used as the mailing address to receive your REAL ID, but your residency document must display a P.O. Box and physical address).
NOTE: View the complete list of document options (PDF) to apply for a REAL ID card.
NOTE: Printed copies are accepted for residency documents, but electronic files are not allowed.
- Pay the application fee: $35 for Driver License or $30 for ID Card.
To help you gather the required documents proving your identity, Social Security number and California residency you will need to present to apply for a REAL ID, use this interactive checklist.
REAL ID Resources
- Frequently Asked Questions on REAL ID
- The California DMV will continue to release updated information regarding REAL ID. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
- The US Department of Homeland Security has additional information on REAL ID.
- DMV’s REAL ID Fact Sheet (PDF)
- Driver License and Identification Card Options (PDF)