The DMV encourages customers to get their REAL ID now – start the application online

More Than 13 million Californians Have Gotten Onboard with a REAL ID

 Sacramento: The clock is ticking toward the federal REAL ID enforcement date of May 3, 2023.

More than 13 million Californians have a REAL ID as of May 1, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data. This is a 213,661 increase from the previous month.

Beginning in May next year, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved document, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities and military bases.

“We encourage folks to get their REAL ID now. There is no need to procrastinate. It’s easy to start the application online,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Customers can fill out the online application, upload their documents, get verification and make an appointment when and where they want. Within a few days, you are ready to go.”

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians should visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov to fill out the online application and upload their documents. A visit to a DMV office is required to complete the application. Customers need to provide:

  • Proof of identity* – One original or certified document (ex: valid passport, birth certificate)
  • *Legal name change document(s) if name on proof of identity is different from the name on the other documents (examples: marriage certificate, adoption papers)
  • Proofs of California residency – Two documents, paper copies (ex: utility bill, bank statement)
  • Social Security number (exceptions may apply)

Visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov for a complete list of acceptable documents and a link to the online application.

Historical REAL ID information:

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of May 1, 2022: 13,129,524
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of May 1, 2021: 10,363,196

Online Services

The DMV has taken many steps to offer more digital services. 

Most DMV tasks do not require an office visit. 

The DMV encourages customers to use its online services and other service channels to complete transactions, including eligible driver’s licenses and vehicle registration renewals. 

Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.