Innovative Program Helps LAX Passengers Get Onboard with REAL ID

Contact: Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue 
Sacramento, CA 95818
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July 19, 2022

DMV, United Airlines, and Los Angeles World Airports offer first of its kind opportunity to passengers and airport employees to complete their REAL ID application at the airport

Los Angeles – The California Department of Motor Vehicles, in collaboration with United Airlines and Los Angeles World Airport, today launched a first of its kind pilot program that allows California-based passengers and employees to conveniently complete their REAL ID application at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). This joint effort is designed to ensure travelers who want to fly domestically have a REAL ID or other federally approved identification when new requirements take effect May 2023.

This is the first time the DMV is hosting a pop-up location at an airport, allowing applicants to complete the REAL ID application while they wait to board their flights or after they land at LAX.

The pilot program will be held on July 19, 21, 26, and 28 with the possibility of extending to meet demand. Ticketed passengers and airport employees must start the online application and upload their documents at least 48 hours prior to meeting with DMV representatives inside Terminal 8 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Customers will need to bring their original uploaded documents to be verified at the airport, and a copy of their confirmation page. They will also need to provide a fingerprint and electronic signature, and have their photograph taken to complete their application.

“Working together with United Airlines and LAX allows us to directly connect with the traveling public and provide them with a unique chance to get a REAL ID without a visit to a DMV office,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Technology is making it easier for us to reach out to Californians and process applications using mobile tablets. We encourage folks to take advantage of this offer and get a REAL ID now. It may be your most important carry-on.”

“United is always looking for opportunities to make travel more seamless for our customers and working with DMV and LAWA to allow our California-based customers to get their REAL ID in our terminal is one more way we’re bringing convenience to them,” said Jonna McGrath, Managing Director of LAX for United Airlines. “I’m excited for LAX to be the first airport where United is trialing this program with DMV and we look forward to the possibility of expanding this offering to other United hubs to help more customers get their REAL ID in our terminals.”

“Los Angeles International Airport has a reputation for innovation and partnerships, which makes us the perfect airport to launch this REAL ID pilot program,” said Martin Elam, Deputy Executive Director for Public Safety and Security, Los Angeles World Airports. “We thank United Airlines and the California Department of Motor Vehicles for working with us to provide our guests this special opportunity to obtain a REAL ID conveniently, securely and with first-class service for those who are already coming to our airport to fly or work.”

Californians who are not included in this pilot program should follow these steps to upgrade or apply for a REAL ID:

Real ID logo with golden bear and star
  • Start the application online at
  • Upload necessary documents
  • Print or take a photo of the confirmation page
  • Bring your original uploaded documents and confirmation page to your required DMV office visit

Try Online First

Remember, most DMV business can be completed without visiting a DMV office.

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