DMV Advises Californians to Plan Ahead – Get a REAL ID Now

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 |

August 9, 2022

Californians whose licenses expire this month can upgrade to a REAL ID

Sacramento – More than 13.8 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 239,464 increase from the previous month.

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 and military bases.

“A REAL ID will make life easier for Californians, particularly those who travel by plane,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Now that schools are starting again, it’s time to think about next summer’s vacation. Whether you are planning to visit family or check out colleges, if you fly in the U.S., you are going to need to have a REAL ID if you want to use your license or ID card to board a plane. Don’t wait until the last minute!”

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians should visit, 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) 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 for a complete list of acceptable documents and a link to the online application.

Historical REAL ID information:

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of August 1, 2022: 13,823,852
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of July 1, 2022: 13,584,388
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as August 1, 2021: 11,118,071

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, and then opt in.


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