drivers license application

Do I need a REAL ID?

The California DMV is offering two different types of cards, REAL ID Compliant DL/ID cards and Federal Non-Compliant DL/ID cards. This card is not needed until October 1, 2020.

REAL ID Compliant DL/ID cards allow applicants to:

  • Use it as identification to board an airplane.
  • Enter military bases and most federal facilities.

Federal Non-Compliant DL/ID cards will consist of:

  • All DL/ID cards other than REAL ID Compliant DL/ID cards including DLs issued pursuant to AB 60.

The federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card is optional and only one federal compliant REAL ID card may be issued (DL or ID).

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 do any of the following:

  • Drive
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits (Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, etc.)
  • Enter a federal facility that does not require ID (i.e. a post office)
  • Visit a hospital or receive life-saving services

How Do I Prepare to Apply for a REAL ID Card?

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 (recommended) to visit a field office.
  • Provide proof of identity, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, employment authorization document, permanent resident card or foreign passport with an approved form I-94.
  • Show a California residency document that includes your physical California resident address. Documents addressed to a PO Box must include the physical resident address on documents (for example utility bills).
  • Present proof of your Social Security number, such as a SSN card (not laminated), W-2, or paystub with your full SSN.

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