Californians Will Need a REAL ID to Fly for Thanksgiving 2020

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

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November 25, 2019

Get REAL ID ready by planning ahead during the holiday travel season

Sacramento – In advance of Thanksgiving – the biggest travel holiday of the year – the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is reminding Californians that new federal ID requirements to fly within the United States or enter secure federal facilities take effect October 1, 2020. Californians who fly to visit friends and family should be aware of the new federal requirements and begin making necessary preparations for a REAL ID so next year’s travel arrangements are not derailed.

“Let this holiday travel season be a reminder to all Californians that the October 2020 federal enforcement date will already be here by this time next year,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “If your identification card or driver license expires after the federal enforcement date, and you need a REAL ID sooner, we encourage you to apply now.”

As a reminder, a REAL ID driver license or identification card can only be obtained by visiting a DMV field office with the required documents:

  • An identity document (valid passport, birth certificate, etc.)
  • A document with a Social Security number (Social Security card or W-2 form showing entire number)
  • Two hard copy documents showing California residency (utility or cell phone bill, bank statement, mortgage bill, etc.).

A list of federally accepted application documents and other information can be found on the California DMV REAL ID website.

To save time, the DMV encourages residents to fill out their application prior to visiting their nearest DMV office and to consider those that offer Saturday and extended morning hours. Californians can also check the status of wait times at their local branch.

For the complete document checklist, an the interactive quiz to find out if it’s time to get a REAL ID, and a list of other federally approved identification that can continue to be used after October 1, 2020, such as a passport, visit


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