DMV, SFO and United Airlines Team Up to Encourage Travelers to Get a REAL ID Now

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

November 17, 2022

San Francisco – The California Department of Motor Vehicles, San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and United Airlines are encouraging air travelers to give themselves the gift of a REAL ID this holiday season as the federal enforcement date of May 3, 2023, draws closer.

This time next year, the estimated 5 million passengers who travel through SFO during the holiday season will need a REAL ID or another federally approved identification to fly within the United States.

“Imagine going through airport security, excited to fly to see family and friends, only to be turned away because you don’t have a REAL ID or another acceptable form of identification,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said at a news conference at SFO today. “The easiest solution is to get on board with a REAL ID driver’s license, which most people carry with them. Consider it your most important carry-on and put it on your holiday wish list.”

“With exceptional facilities, exciting new destinations, and plenty of holiday cheer, we are ready to make the holiday travel season truly enjoyable,” said SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero. “We also encourage travelers to be ready this season, by allowing extra time to get through the airport and having a REAL ID driver’s license.”

“We expect 440,000 people will travel through San Francisco on United this Thanksgiving holiday and we look forward to connecting them with their friends and loved ones – across the country and around the world,” said Lori Augustine, VP of SFO for United Airlines. “We’re also using this as an opportunity to remind everyone about applying for REAL ID, which will be a formal requirement for travel on all airlines stating next Spring.”

If you want to apply for a REAL ID, you will need to start the online application at, upload your documents and visit a DMV office, where in just a few minutes, you’ll be on your way.

You will need to provide one proof of identity, two separate proofs of California residency, and your Social Security number. Once completed, bring your original uploaded documents and a copy of the confirmation page to your office appointment, where you will have your documents verified and take a photo for your new REAL ID.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does not require individuals under the age of 18 to provide identification when traveling within the U.S. However, the companion will need to show a federally approved form of identification, such as a REAL ID.

Try Online First: 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 vehicle registration renewals. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV business.


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