California Responds To Final REAL ID Act Regulations

California Department of Motor Vehicles
Media Relations Office
2415 First Avenue, MS F-122, Sacramento, CA 95818
Contact: DMV Media Relations

January 11, 2008

Sacramento –The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today that the final regulations to the federal REAL ID Act have been released by the Department of Homeland Security. The Act, which sets minimum standards for U.S. driver licenses, is scheduled to take effect May 11, 2008.

“The Department of Homeland Security recognized that there were issues and procedures of importance to California and the rest of the states when they finalized the regulations,” said DMV Director George Valverde. “The regulations will provide for consistent issuance standards that further strengthen the security of our driver licenses and identification cards.”

As provided in the regulations, states can apply for and be granted an extension by DHS through 2009, which California has done. “Filing the extension allows California time to work with DHS on privacy and funding issues, which continue to be a concern for California,” said Director Valverde.

The Department of Homeland Security in its final rulemaking lowered the estimated cost of REAL ID nationally from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion. “While we are encouraged the Department has lowered its initial cost estimate, the primary responsibility for funding a federal protection measure such as REAL ID should be through the federal government, not the states,” said Director Valverde.

No change to the motoring public

Director Valverde emphasized that California DMV will continue to issue driver licenses and identification cards under normal business practices. For example, customers can exercise the same renewal options, including online and mail. Driver licenses and identification cards will continue to be honored for boarding commercial aircraft and gaining entry into federal buildings, according to DHS.

California DMV is universally recognized as a national leader in secure, centralized driver license production, including legal presence and social security verification of identity documents. “California’s business practices have been consistent with the major objective of REAL ID – one driver, one record,” said Director Valverde.

May 11, 2008 is the effective date under the REAL ID Act by which states must begin issuing driver licenses and identification cards using minimum standards called for in the Act. With the extension, no changes to California licenses are expected in 2008.

Don’t Stand In Line, Go Online! Doing business with the DMV has never been easier. The DMV offers an array of services to customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through its Web site (, including online appointments for written and drive tests; vehicle registration and driver license renewals, selection of personalized license plates, changes of address and payment of fees via secure debit transactions.

DMV is a department under the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, which is under the direction of Secretary Dale E. Bonner. The DMV licenses drivers; maintains driving records; registers and tracks official ownership of vehicles and vessels; investigates auto and identity-related fraud; and licenses car dealers, driving schools, and traffic violator schools.



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