Applying for a California REAL ID


What is the REAL ID Act?

Beginning October 1, 2021, the federal government will require your driver license or identification card to be REAL ID complaint 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 federal complaint REAL ID driver licenses or identification cards.

Do I Need a REAL ID Driver License or Identification Card?

Starting October 1, 2021, you will need to show a REAL ID driver license or Identification card or other federally approved identification (passport, military ID) at TSA airport checkpoints nationwide or to visit secure federal facilities. 

According to the DMV, residents interested in applying for a REAL ID compliant driver license or identification card must do the following:

  • Make an appointment to visit a field office on or after January 22, 2018.
    • Appointments can be made online by visiting or by calling 1-800-777-0133.
  • Provide proof of identity (for example: U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, certificate of naturalization or citizenship, employment authorization document, permanent resident card, or foreign passport with an approved form I-94).
  • Show two (2) forms of California residency document (for example: utility bill, rental agreement, mortgage bill, medical document).
  • Present proof of your Social Security Number (for example: Social Security Card, W-2 form, SSA-1099 form, Non-SSA-1099 form, Paystub (with full SSN).

Valid California driver licenses and identification cards can be used to board commercial flights until October 1, 2021.

Also, if you have a valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card, military ID, or other federally approved identification, you may use this as your form of identification to pass a TSA checkpoint at airports nationwide and visit a secure federal building or military installations at any time.  Make sure to check with the federal facility/military base before you visit to verify their identification requirements.

The cost for a REAL ID driver license or identification card is the same as those currently charged for a standard driver license or identification card. REAL IDs will have a special marking of the California grizzly bear with a star on the top right corner of the card.

For more information on REAL ID, please visit.

View Required Documents PDF +

View Fact Sheet +