Facts About Getting Real ID Cards in the State of California

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Now that we are well into 2019, it’s time for people like me, and perhaps most of you,. to start thinking about getting a Real ID card.

WHAT IS REAL ID?

Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver’s license or ID card to be Real ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight or enter secure federal facilities that require identification. The California DMV now offers federally compliant REAL ID drivers’ licenses.

The Real ID is a requirement of the Real ID Act of 2005.

DO I HAVE TO GET A REAL ID CARD?

No, you don’t. But if you plan to board a domestic flight starting October 1, 2020, your existing California driver’s license or state-issued ID will not work with TSA if it is not Real ID compliant.

In lieu of a Real ID card, you will need to show a U.S. passport, passport card or other forms of identification noted at www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

HOW DO I GET A REAL ID CARD?

Plan your DMV visit by making an appointment to visit a field office. DMV offices closest to the Conejo Valley include Thousand Oaks (Avenida de los Arboles), Ventura, Simi Valley,. Oxnard and Santa Paula. San Fernando Valley DMV locations include Winnetka, Van Nuys and Granada Hills.

Prepare for your visit as follows:

  1. Bring proof of your identity (original or certified copies only). It should show your date of birth, true full name (sorry, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Cher, this goes for you too). Documentation can include a current, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card, U.S. birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card or other items.

    Note that the identify document must show your current true full name; multiple name change documents are required if your name has changed multiple times. So for example, you’ll need to bring a certified marriage certificate if your current legal name is different than on your birth certificate or other identifying document.

  2. Bring proof of your full Social Security number (SSN) in the form of either an original Social Security card, W-2 form, 1099 form, pay stub or other items.

  3. Bring two** printed documents showing proof of California residency which list your first and last name and residence listed on the ID card application. It must show a physical address, not a P. O. box. Items you can use include mortgage bill, signed rental agreement, home utility bills, employment documents, property tax bills, etc.

  4. You will also need to complete an ID card application. The California DMV strongly encourages residents to complete applications online at www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/dl/dl44. It is available in 10 languages (sorry, no Pig Latin though). Register for and complete the form online and when you arrive for your appointment, DMV staff can access and process the form. Easy peasy.

  5. Application fee is $30 for the ID card ($35 for a non-compliant driver’s license).

    ** As of April 2019. Note that previously this was just one printed proof of residency, but Federal requirements changed this to two, according to the DMV.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET THE REAL ID CARD?

Usually within 60 days by mail.

Learn more at REALID.dmv.ca.gov.