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Sacramento – About 16.2 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 165,613 from the previous month – according to California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data.

School bells will soon be ringing and there is much to do to get ready. Before all the shopping and lunch packing starts, head to your nearest DMV office to get a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card. There is no need to wait for the federal enforcement date of May 7, 2025, that requires a REAL ID or other federally approved document to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities. Doing it now means one less thing to worry about in 2025 if you want to use your driver’s license or ID card to fly around the country.

“Once the school supplies and new shoes are bought, take a minute for yourself and get your REAL ID. It’s never been easier,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Whether you want to visit family or go someplace fun during the next break, now is the best time to get your REAL ID if you want to fly within the U.S. While I cannot give you extra credit for getting your REAL ID early, you will enjoy a smoother experience at the airport.”

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians should visit, fill out the online application and upload their documents. Customers must visit a DMV office and bring their uploaded documents to complete the application. Customers need to provide:

  • Proof of identity* – One original or certified document (example: valid passport, birth certificate) *Legal name change document(s) is required if name on proof of identity is different from the name on the other documents (example: marriage certificate, adoption papers).

  • Proofs of California residency – Two documents, paper copies (example: utility bill, bank statement).

  • Social Security number (exceptions may apply).

Visit for a complete list of acceptable documents and a link to the online application.

Historical REAL ID information:

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of August 1, 2023: 16,153,115

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of July 1, 2023: 15,987,502

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as August 1, 2022: 13,823,852

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 license and vehicle registration renewals. Customers can also use the Service Advisor on the DMV website to learn their options to complete DMV tasks.

To sign up for paperless vehicle registration and driver’s license renewal notices, customers must sign in or create a secure online account at, and then opt in.


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