Frequently Asked Questions
Two (2) Proofs of Residency Required
Californians who obtained a federally compliant REAL ID driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card by providing only one proof of California residency when they applied can expect to receive a letter from the DMV explaining how to satisfy the second proof of residency requirement. Cardholders 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 should accept it to fly within the United States and enter secure federal facilities and military bases.
However, for individuals whose REAL ID driver license or identification card expires before October 1, 2020, the cardholder will need to provide the DMV with a second residency document at the time of their renewal.
Which documents do customers need to bring when applying for REAL ID card? (Full list)
Customers will need:
- One Identity document, such as a certified US birth certificate or passport
- One Social Security number document, such as an original Social Security Card or a W-2 that shows the complete SSN.
- Two different proofs of Residency – street address, such as a home utility or cell phone bill, vehicle registration card, mortgage or lease agreement, bank account or property tax bill.
NOTE: Residency documents must show the applicant’s name and list the SAME address that will appear on the federal compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card.
Why did the residency requirement change?
The Department of Homeland Security decided to change the previously approved 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 the DMV’s implementation, the federal government changed its direction for California. The federal government has indicated that Wisconsin will need to change its process as well.
When did the DMV begin requiring applicants to provide two different proofs of California residency?
The DMV began requiring applicants to provide two different proofs of California residency on April 29, 2019.
If I have a REAL ID card already and provided only one residency document when I applied, will I still need to do this?
Yes, you will still need to provide a second residency document, but not immediately.
The DMV is working with the federal government to determine a process that will be least impactful to its 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.
Right now, customers who hold a REAL ID driver license or identification card do not need to do anything – the card is valid.
If I have not already applied for a REAL ID, when should I apply?
Apply for your REAL ID at your normal time of renewal or at any point you desire prior to the October 1, 2020 federal enforcement date if your driver license expires prior to that. Be sure to bring all the required documents, including two proofs of California residency.