Be REAL ID Ready as You Enjoy Spring

Sacramento – More than 15.6 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 171,769 from the previous month – according to California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) data.

May brings days that are getting longer and warmer, baby birds chirping, and blooming flowers. It’s time for renewal and a perfect time to get a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card – before the federal enforcement date of May 7, 2025, requires a REAL ID to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities. Not having a REAL ID or other federally approved document to get through airport security could delay the bloom of your next big adventure.

“As April showers give way to May flowers, take a moment to upgrade your driver’s license or identification card to a REAL ID,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “You can quickly start your application online and then light up the BBQ for your family picnic.”

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 May 1, 2023: 15,634,447
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of April 1, 2023: 15,462,678
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as May 1, 2022: 13,129,525

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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