Make Applying for a REAL ID Part of Your U.S. Vacation Plans

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Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 |

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January 28, 2020

DMV reminds Californians of federal enforcement date on ‘National Plan Your Vacation Day’

Sacramento – Home for the holidays may have a new meaning this year if Californians don’t visit their local Department of Motor Vehicles office and apply for their REAL ID. Their holiday vacation may be a “staycation” if they can’t get on a plane because they did not get a REAL ID.

Today, on “National Plan Your Vacation Day” the DMV is reminding Californians to make getting their REAL ID the first step in any vacation plan.

Starting in October, the federal government will require that everyone who wants to fly within the U.S. have a REAL ID or other accepted form of identification, such as a passport or military ID. To get your REAL ID, you have to come to a DMV office and provide specific documents.

“During the last several months, we have incorporated technological solutions and process improvements to make the DMV office experience easier and quicker,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said. “Wait times and the time it takes to process a REAL ID transaction are both down. We know people procrastinate and wait until the last minute to take action, but if you wait too long before you apply for a REAL ID, you will likely have to wait in longer lines.”

Whether you are planning to visit Aunt Mary for Thanksgiving or to go home to visit family and friends for Christmas or Hanukkah, you’ll need a REAL ID or other federally accepted ID if you need to fly to get there. Same goes for taking a 2021 flight for a summer vacation to a national park, an anniversary trip with your spouse, a trip to see you child graduate from college, or an excursion to attend a family wedding.

So plan ahead for that vacation. Go online now at and fill out the REAL ID application, then visit a DMV office near you while wait times are short.

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians need to visit an office and bring the following documents:

  • One proof of identity* – original or certified (examples: valid passport, birth certificate)
    *Legal name change document(s) if name on proof of identity is different from the name on the other documents (examples: marriage certificate, adoption papers)
  • One proof of Social Security number
  • Two proofs of California residency – paper copies (examples: utility bill, bank statement)

Visit for a complete list of acceptable documents and a link to the online application.

More information about offices and wait times can be found online at


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