What is Real ID?
Real ID is a new kind of identification card issued by the California DMV that requires more proof of identity / residence to obtain, and meets the new federal regulations for identification standards.
Why do I need a Real ID?
Starting on October 1, 2020, you will need a Real ID (or passport) for the following:
- To board a flight within the United States.
- Enter military bases or secure federal facilities.
Do I need to make an appointment to get a Real ID? How do I make an appointment?
An appointment is not required, but strongly recommended. You can make an appointment on the DMV website.
Can I just drop in to my DMV office without an appointment?
Yes, but it is strongly recommended to have an appointment.
What are DMV office hours?
DMV office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Offices open at 9 a.m. on Wednesdays. Select DMV locations are open Saturdays. Check your local DMV here for more information regarding Saturday hours.
- All DMV field offices will be closed on Thursday, July 4, 2019 in observance of Independence Day.
Do I have to wait until my current ID is expiring, or can I get a Real ID sooner?
If you are planning to fly after the date your current ID is expiring, then you should make an appointment and get a Real ID before. If you have a passport, you can use it to travel after October 2020, then apply for a Real ID when it is time to renew your current ID.
What documents do I need to bring with me to my appointment?
In order to receive a Real ID, you must bring the following documents to a DMV field office:
- Proof of identity which includes one of the following an original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, employment authorization, permanent resident card or unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form. No photocopies will be accepted.
- Proof of Social Security number which includes a Social Security card, W-2 or paystub with full SSN. Original or certified copies are required and no photocopies will be accepted.
- Two different proofs of residency - street address, such as a home utility or cell phone bill, vehicle registration card, mortgage or lease agreement, bank account or property tax bill.
NOTE: Residency documents must show the applicant's name and list the SAME address that will appear on the federal compliant REAL ID driver license or identification card.
Are there alternative IDs I can use while traveling instead of a Real ID?
You may use a valid U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, military ID or other federally approved identification to travel after October 1, 2020 if you do not have a Real ID.
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Take a look at more stories by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.