California DMV Preparing To Meet The Challenges of Real ID Act

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: Mike Marando, Steve Haskins, Armando Botello, Mike Miller
September 21, 2006

SACRAMENTO—The National Governor's Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators today released a national report on the operational and fiscal impacts of the REAL ID Act, which directs all 50 states to issue security-strengthened drivers licenses beginning May 11, 2008.

The REAL ID Act was signed by President Bush in 2005. The new licenses will be required identification for official federal purposes, such as boarding commercial airlines. While the Act describes general guidelines states must follow, much of the detail and specific requirements will be determined by federal Department of Homeland Security regulations which are being developed.

Nationwide, the report indicates costs to states of approximately $11 billion, impacting up to 245 million individuals. Estimated cost of REAL ID implementation in California is $500 million to $700 million, which could impact up to 25 million drivers license and identification card holders.

“By working with key governmental entities and other stakeholders, California has started preparations to address the impacts of REAL ID,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “California currently meets certain aspects of REAL ID requirements such as Social Security number verification. We’re in better shape than many other states.”

For example, a statewide policy setting, steering committee comprised of a cross-section of California state program officials is working with other states, the federal government and local government to identify major policy, operational and fiscal impacts related to REAL ID implementation.

This year, the DMV secured $18.8 million from the state Legislature for preparation and planning purposes, such as upgrades of IT infrastructure and online capabilities. In addition, the DMV is proactively seeking federal funding for California’s costs associated with the implementation of the REAL ID Act.

And, the DMV has made a variety of transaction choices using the Internet. Customers can now report a change of address and file a Notice of Release of Liability online. In addition, customers can schedule online appointments for exams, license and registration renewals. The result is better, quicker and more convenient customer service.

Log on to for more information about DMV service options and the Real-ID regulations once released by the federal government.


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