Californians Arrive Prepared to Apply for REAL ID Cards

By Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– On January 22, the first day the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offered Californians the opportunity to apply for a REAL ID driver license or identification (ID) card, more than 5,000 customers submitted applications for a REAL ID compliant card. Many said they used the REAL ID interactive checklist at to gather the required documents needed to apply for the new federal compliant REAL ID card.

“We are pleased with the interest Californians are showing in this new optional card,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “The REAL ID card is available to Californians who want to continue to use their driver license or ID card to board a domestic flight or enter secure federal facilities when new federal requirements take effect October 1, 2020.”

There is no need to rush into a DMV field office to apply for a REAL ID because the federal requirements don’t go into effect until October 1, 2020. The ideal time to apply would be at the time of your driver license renewal.

Californians have the choice to apply for a REAL ID driver license or ID card, or renew or apply for a federal non-compliant card.

A valid California driver license or ID card can be used for federal purposes, including boarding a domestic flight and entering military bases or secure federal facilities, until October 1, 2020. After that date, only a REAL ID card or other federally approved documents will be accepted, such as a valid U.S. passport, passport card or military ID.

To apply for a REAL ID:

  • Make an appointment (recommended) to visit a DMV field office.
  • Provide proof of identity, such as a certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with an approved form I-94.
  • Present proof of your Social Security number, such as an SSN card, W-2 or paystub with full SSN.
  • Show a California residency document, such as a rental or lease agreement, mortgage bill, utility bill or employment, medical or school document.
  • An original or certified copy of a name change document, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, may be required.

A full list of document options needed to apply for a California REAL ID driver license or ID card is available on the DMV website.

REAL ID and federal non-compliant cards are both valid forms of identification. All driver licenses, including REAL ID driver licenses, cost $35 and ID cards cost $30.  For more information, visit

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