The Real ID Act Overview

What is REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act is a nationwide effort to improve the integrity and security of state issued driver licenses (DL) and identification cards (ID).

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for determining and issuing the security rules (regulations). Only DL/ID cards meeting these DHS standards will be accepted to access federal facilities, board federally regulated commercial aircraft, and enter nuclear power plants.

How will it affect me?

  • There will be no immediate changes in the way DMV issues a DL/ID.
  • Your California DL/ID will continue to be honored for boarding a commercial aircraft and gaining entry into federal buildings.
  • DMV will continue to use its current business practices to issue an original or renew a DL/ID.
  • If you are eligible to renew your DL online or by mail, these services are still available to you, and you are encouraged to use them.

How do I learn more?

Additional information regarding the REAL ID Act can be found on either the DMV website at or the DHS website at