REAL ID Enforcement Date Now Nine Months Away

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

August 3, 2022

Californians whose licenses expire this month can upgrade to a REAL ID

Sacramento – Nearly a half million California drivers will need to renew their driver’s licenses this month, and the California Department of Motor Vehicles suggests this is the perfect time to upgrade to a REAL ID.

Driver’s licenses expire on a customer’s birthday every five years.

“While you don’t have to wait, if your driver’s license is expiring, you can give yourself a birthday present and get your REAL ID,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “The REAL ID is good for five years and, starting May 2023, if you want to use your license to board flights within the United States, you’ll need a REAL ID.”

Customers who want to upgrade to a REAL ID can fill out an application and upload their required documents online before visiting a DMV office to complete their application and take a new photo. Get started at

Customers renewing a REAL ID may qualify to do so online. Californians who are changing their address or personal description at the time of renewal will need to renew in person.

“If you think you are going to need a REAL ID, there is no reason to wait,” reminds Gordon. “Appointments are available, and it only takes a few minutes to finish the process at a DMV office.”

According to DMV records, 476,000 Californians celebrating an August birthday have a license up for renewal this year, making August the most popular driver’s license renewal month. November has the fewest driver’s licenses up for renewal with 381,000.

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.

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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