Real ID Now Available In CA

Driver License Icon. Photo by valeo5 at istock by Thinkstock

Beginning October 1st, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license or identification (ID) card to be a REAL ID if you want to use it as identification to board a domestic flight or enter military bases or federal facilities.

The California DMV will provide REAL ID driver license or ID card that complies with the federal edict, as an option to customers beginning January 22nd, 2018.

Do you need a REAL ID?

Well, if you have a U.S. Passport, passport card, military ID, or another form of Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) approved identification, they will still be accepted to get through security at an airport.

You will need one of the REAL ID cars  to access military bases and most federal facilities.

The federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card is optional.

There is no need to rush into a DMV field office. A valid California driver license or ID card can be used to board a commercial flight or enter secure federal facilities until October 1, 2020.

If you know you will not be boarding a domestic flight or visiting a secure federal facility or military base, you do not need a REAL ID driver license or ID card.

You do not need a federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card to drive in California, to apply for federal benefits, to go to the post office or to get medical care.


A DMV field office visit is required to apply for the new REAL ID card. To apply for a REAL ID card, you must do the following:

  • Make an appointment to visit a field office on or after January 22, 2018.
  • Provide proof of identity, such as a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with an approved form I-94.
  • Show a California residency document.
  • Present proof of your Social Security number.

The DMV will begin offering customers the option to apply for a REAL ID driver license or ID card on January 22, 2018.

Photo by valeo5 at istock by Thinkstock


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