Californians Continue to get REAL ID Ready – DMV Says Don’t be Left Behind

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

June 6, 2022

REAL ID may be your most important carry-on

Sacramento – As the federal REAL ID enforcement date of May 3, 2023 approaches, 13.3 million Californians have a REAL ID as of June 1, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data. This is a 208,206 increase from the previous month. Since the beginning of the year, one million Californians have received their REAL ID.

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.

“There really is no need to wait. It’s easy to start the application online,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “As May of next year gets closer, those who procrastinate might have to wait in line to be helped at the DMV. Today, you can get an appointment within a day or two at most offices.”

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 June 1, 2022: 13,337,730
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of May 1, 2022: 13,129,524
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of June 1, 2021: 10,585,873

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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