Nearly 13 Million Californians Have a REAL ID with Just Over One Year Until Enforcement

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

APRIL 6, 2022

Apply online now! DMV urges Californians to get a REAL ID today.

Sacramento – As the one-year mark toward the federal REAL ID enforcement date approaches, more than 12.9 million Californians have a REAL ID as of April 1, according to Department of Motor Vehicles data. This is a 211,442 increase from the previous month.

Starting May 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved documents, 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.

“The DMV has made getting a REAL ID easier and faster,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Customers can fill out the online application, upload their documents, get verification and make an appointment when and where they want. Taking these steps significantly reduces the amount of time spent at the DMV and lets us serve more customers each day.”

To apply for a REAL ID, Californians should visit to fill out the online application and upload their documents. A visit to a DMV office is required to complete the application. Customers need to provide:

  • Proof of identity* – One original or certified document (ex: 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)
  • Proofs of California residency – Two documents, paper copies (ex: 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 April 1, 2021: 10,084,801
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of April 1, 2020: 7,917,030

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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