DMV Encourages Californians to Join the Millions Who Already Have a REAL ID

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

September 12, 2022

Applications can be started online

Sacramento – More than 14 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 270,586 increase from the previous month.

“Summer vacations are in the rearview mirror, but holiday travel plans are in the works. This time next year, a REAL ID will make your holiday trips easier if you travel by plane,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Whether flying for family gatherings or family avoidance, if you fly in the U.S., soon you are going to need to have a REAL ID if you want to use your license or ID card to board a plane. No need to wait.”

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.

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 September 1, 2022: 14,094,438
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of August 1, 2022: 13,823,852
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as September 1, 2021: 11,404,734

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.


Sign up to receive the latest DMV News Alerts: DMV NEWS ALERTS – California DMV