Ask the DMV: REAL ID federal enforcement date is one year away

The REAL ID federal enforcement date is just one year away, beat the rush.

Starting May 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved identification, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities like military bases.

Start your online application today and get REAL ID ready in three simple steps:

Gather your identification documents

• Complete your online application and upload your documents.
• Visit the DMV office to complete your REAL ID application.
• Visit for a complete list of acceptable documents and to begin your online application.

Question: What type of documents are required to apply for my REAL ID?

Answer: One original or certified proof of identity and two different printed proofs of California residency are required.

One original or certified proof of identity: Examples include a valid passport, birth certificate, valid permanent resident card. If your name on your proof of identity is different from the name on your other documents you will need a legal name change document (Examples: marriage certificate, adoption papers).

Two different printed proofs of California residency: Examples include a utility bill, bank statement, insurance documents, tax return, rental or lease agreement and school documents.

Question: Do I have to wait for my current license or ID to expire before I get a REAL ID?

Answer: No, you can apply for the REAL ID before your current driver license or ID expires. Be aware that your new REAL ID will hold the same expiration date as your current driver license or ID. Keep in mind that as the enforcement date gets closer, wait times are estimated to get longer.

Don’t delay and apply today to beat the rush.

For more information, please visit