DMV, TSA and LAX Encourage Californians to Get REAL ID

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February 13, 2020

New federal ID requirements to board domestic flights begin October 1, 2020

Los Angeles – The Secretary of the California State Transportation Agency (CalSTA), and representatives with the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) today reminded Californians that starting October 1, 2020, all travelers will need a REAL ID or another acceptable form of identification to board flights within the United States.

California driver licenses and identification cards that are REAL ID-compliant are marked with a bear and star.

“If you need a REAL ID to fly domestically, we urge you to come in to a DMV office now to get it done,” said CalSTA Secretary David Kim. “Wait times are low, online applications are available to speed up the process, and you do not need an appointment to complete the transaction at your local DMV office.”

“It’s important to remember that even if you do not plan to fly, there may be unexpected circumstances that will require you to catch a domestic flight and we want you to be REAL ID ready,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “We have been working hard to make the application process as easy as possible and we encourage everyone to make plans now to get a REAL ID.”

“Starting Oct. 1, 2020, TSA officers will no longer be permitted to accept a state-issued driver license or identification card from travelers as their picture ID unless that credential meets REAL ID standards,” said TSA Federal Security Director for LAX Keith Jeffries. “While TSA accepts multiple forms of picture ID at the security checkpoint, the fact is the majority of travelers use a driver license. We join with our state and airport partners to encourage residents to take steps now to ensure you are ready for federal enforcement of REAL ID requirements.”

“LAX is investing billions of dollars into modernizing the entire airport experience, but passengers won’t be able to enjoy those changes if they can’t get past security,” said LAX Interim Chief Executive Officer Justin Erbacci. “By partnering with the TSA and DMV, we are working to get the word out about REAL ID requirements so our guests will be prepared for this imminent change.”

Californians applying for a REAL ID are required to visit a DMV field office and bring:Image of REAL ID Driver License with arrow pointing to the gold star and bear

  • An identity document*, such as a valid passport or original birth certificate. *If you’ve changed your name, legal name change document(s) might be required
  • A document with the entire Social Security number visible, such as an original Social Security card or W-2 form.
  • Two hard copy documents showing California residency, such as a utility or cell phone bill, bank statement, or mortgage bill.

With lines at DMV offices shorter than ever, the DMV’s resolution is to keep wait times low. Californians can do their part by completing the required application online beforehand and being prepared for their visit to a DMV. Appointments are not required to complete an in-person REAL ID application, and customers can check wait times at nearby offices on the DMV website.

Many DMV offices also offer Saturday and extended morning hours. A full list of DMV offices and operating hours can be found here. 

For more information about REAL ID, a complete list of acceptable documents and FAQs, please visit


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