Californians Continue to Get Onboard with REAL ID

Contact: Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue 
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 |

July 12, 2022

No need to procrastinate, DMV says get yours now

Sacramento – Nearly 13.6 million Californians now have a REAL ID as the federal enforcement date of May 3, 2023, approaches, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data. This is a 246,658 increase from the previous month. Nearly 3 million more Californians got their REAL ID in the past year.

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

“We want people to start the application online today,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “If you fill out the online form and upload your documents at home, your office visit will take about 10 minutes. We continue to improve the process to make it easier for our customers as we approach May 2023.”

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) 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 July 1, 2022: 13,584,388
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of June 1, 2022: 13,337,730
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as July 1, 2021: 10,843,618

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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