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Ease summer travel: upgrade to a Real ID

More than 17.7 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 137,929 from the previous month – according to California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data.

“As we celebrate our nation’s independence during one of the busiest travel times of the year, you can help improve your freedom to travel easily by getting a REAL ID,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “You’ll need one to travel by plane in the U.S. next year. No need to wait.”

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. By starting the process online, it should only take about 15 minutes in the office. 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.

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 more time doing the things you want to do.


Historical REAL ID information

Total REAL ID cardholders as of July 1, 2024: 17,702,877

Total REAL ID cardholders as of June 1, 2024: 17,564,948

Total REAL ID cardholders as of July 1, 2023: 15,987,502


Online Services

The DMV has taken many steps to offer more digital services. Most DMV tasks do not require an office visit, including simple self-service transactions that are no longer available in offices. 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.