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Busy Fall Travel Season: Apply Now For A Real ID

More than 16.6 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 147,642 from the previous month – according to California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data.

As the autumn leaves fall from the trees and pumpkin spice fills the air, November brings with it not only the beauty of fall, but also the year’s busiest travel season. As millions prepare to head to the airport, it’s the perfect time to switch to a REAL ID. There is no need to wait for the federal enforcement date of May 7, 2025, that requires a REAL ID or other federally approved document to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities. Doing it now means one less thing to worry about later.

“With a REAL ID in hand, you will more easily be able to visit family and friends across the country,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “And that’s something to be thankful for.”

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) is required 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 Nov. 1: 16,624,827

Total REAL ID cardholders as of Oct. 1: 16,477,185

Total REAL ID cardholders as Nov. 1, 2022: 14,558,475


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.