DMV Encourages Californians to Get a REAL ID Now

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue 
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 | dmvpublicaffairs@dmv.ca.gov

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2021

Federal government extends enforcement date to May 2023

Sacramento – The DMV continues to offer REAL IDs to Californians as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security extends the enforcement date from October 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023. As the COVID-19 emergency continues, office space and appointments are limited to accommodate physical distancing guidelines. The DMV encourages customers to plan ahead and be patient.

“We continue to aggressively pursue service improvements so anyone who is eligible and wants a REAL ID today can get it. There is no need to wait for long lines or deadlines,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “If you need to renew your driver’s license, you can upgrade to a REAL ID.”

More than 10 million Californians have a REAL ID.

The DMV is taking many steps to improve its services and make getting a REAL ID easier. By filling out the REAL ID application at REALID.dmv.ca.gov and uploading their documents, Californians can bring their confirmation code and documents with them to a DMV office at their convenience, even the same day, for express service – no appointment necessary. Once at a service window, it now takes less than 10 minutes to complete the REAL ID transaction.

Beginning May 3, 2023, 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.

The DMV encourages Californians to complete the online application for a REAL ID before they come to the office and to be prepared with the appropriate documents to speed the process for everyone.

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians must visit a DMV office and provide:

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

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

Most DMV tasks do not require an office visit. The DMV continues to encourage customers to use its online services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s license and vehicle registration renewals. As a temporary measure during the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly all Californians can now renew their driver’s license online – even if the renewal notice states an office visit is required. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

With more customers using online services, DMV offices have more space to accommodate those who need a REAL ID or otherwise have to visit an office.

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