Huddle Up with the DMV to Get Your REAL ID

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

September 6, 2023

Sacramento – More than 16.3 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 179,670 from the previous month – according to California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data.

With Labor Day signaling the unofficial end of summer, it’s time to move into fall. Before grabbing your pumpkin spice latte and settling in for football season, start your application online to get a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. There is no need to wait for the federal enforcement date of May 7, 2025, that requires a REAL ID or other federally approved document to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities. Doing it now means one less thing to worry about later.

“Don’t punt getting your REAL ID into the future. Tackle it today,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “It’s the easiest play call yet, whether it’s time to renew your driver’s license or you’re applying for the very first time. Take it to the end zone with a REAL ID.

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) is required 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, 2023: 16,332,785
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of August 1, 2023: 16,153,115
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of September 1, 2022: 14,094,438

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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