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Frequently Asked Questions – Two (2) Proofs of Residency Required

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Two (2) Proofs of Residency Required

Californians who currently hold a federally compliant REAL ID driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card will not need to present a second residency document immediately.

If a customer’s REAL ID DL/ID card does not expire before the REAL ID enforcement date of October 1, 2020, the federal government will accept it to board domestic flights and enter secure federal facilities and military bases. 

However, for individuals who hold a REAL ID driver license or ID card that expires before October 1, 2020, the cardholder will need to provide the DMV with a second residency document at the time of their renewal. 

What is changing?
Starting in April 2019, customers who are applying for a REAL ID DL/ID card for the first time will need to bring in an additional form of residency verification – two different forms to prove residency.

Which documents do customers need to bring when applying for REAL ID card?  (Full list)
Customers will need:

  • One Identity document, such as a birth certificate or passport
  • One document for proof of full Social Security number, such as your Social Security Card or a W-2.
  • Beginning April 2019, 2 different proofs of Residency, such as a home utility bill, vehicle registration card, mortgage or lease agreement, bank account or property tax bill.

    NOTE: The residency documents must show the applicant’s name and list the SAME address that will appear on the DL/ID card.

Why is this happening now?
The Department of Homeland Security decided to change the method by which the DMV collects two proofs of residency. *For a description of DMV’s process, see next question. 

*Why didn’t you do this two-form process to begin with?
In an attempt to create the least amount of burden to customers, the DMV followed the process, which the Department of Homeland Security approved for the state of Wisconsin and subsequently for California.

Unfortunately, several months into our implementation, the federal government changed its direction for California. The federal government has indicated to us that Wisconsin will need to change its process as well.

Why is the DMV waiting to start this in April?
DMV needs the time to program its systems to ensure the appropriate information is collected and retained in compliance with federal regulations. 

If I have a REAL ID card already, will I still need to do this?
Yes, you will still need to provide a second residency documents, but not immediately. 

We are working with the federal government to determine the process that will be least impactful to our customers, including allowing them to provide the second residency document upon renewal of their federal compliant REAL ID card, and allowing them to provide the document online, by mail or by visiting a field office. We will inform the public when we have more information. 

Right now, customers who hold a REAL ID Card do not need to do anything – the card is valid.

If I have not already received a REAL ID, should I wait until April to come in?
Please apply for your REAL ID at your normal time of renewal or at any point you desire prior to the 2020 compliance date if your driver license expires prior to that.

We are actively working to come up with a streamlined process that will be least impactful to the customer for the second proof of residency document requirement.

What if I provide the DMV with my two residency documents prior to April 2019?
We are working on a process that will allow our employees to process the records prior to the April implementation date.

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