California Department of Motor Vehicles
If you have not yet applied for your REAL ID, be aware that federal requirements for travel will soon go into effect, making this the last spring break you can travel without one.
Starting in May 2023, you will need to show a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, or other federally approved identification — like a passport — at TSA airport checkpoints nationwide or to visit secure federal facilities.
A REAL ID is a driver’s license or identification card that is also a federally accepted form of identification. And soon, the federal REAL ID Act places new rules on which forms of identification may be used to board flights within the US and to enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases and federal courthouses.
A California issued REAL ID driver’s license or identification card meets these new requirements and is marked with a gold bear and star in the top right corner.
Applying for a REAL ID requires one proof of identity document (like a birth certificate or passport), two California residency documents (like a bank statement or utility bill)), your social security number and a trip to a DMV office. Your office visit will be quick if before you go you fill out the online application and upload your documents.
US citizens and all legal residents of the United States can apply for a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. Individuals applying for or renewing an AB 60 driver’s license are not eligible to receive a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card.
Since the REAL ID is a form of federal identification, you are required to visit a DMV office in person when applying for one for the first time. However, you will be able to renew your REAL ID online when the time comes.
For more information or answers to questions not listed here, please visit www.dmv.ca.gov