Beginning October 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security requires your driver license (DL) or identification (ID) card be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight or enter military bases and most federal facilities. 

FAQs

Will a minor need a REAL ID card to board a domestic flight?

TSA does not require children (under 18) to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification. For a current list, visit TSA’s website at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

Is REAL ID mandatory?

No. The federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card is optional.

If you have a valid U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, military ID, or other federally approved identification, you may use this it as your form of identification to board a domestic flight or enter certain federal facilities after the new federal requirements begin October 1, 2020.  

If you know you will not be boarding a domestic flight or visiting a secure federal facility or military base, you do not need a REAL ID driver license or ID card.

You do not need a REAL ID driver license or ID card to do any of the following:

  • Apply for or receive federal benefits (Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, etc.)
  • Enter a post office or other federal facility that does not require identification.
  • Visit a hospital or receive life-saving services
  • Ride Amtrak or other public ground transportation

You will need a REAL ID driver license or ID card if you want to continue using your driver license or ID card to do any of the following:

  • Board a domestic flight starting October 1, 2020.
  • Enter secure federal facilities or military bases starting October 1, 2020. (Note: Check with the federal facility/military base before your visit to verify their identification requirements.)
  • Purchase firearms or ammunition. (Note: Check with the firearms dealer you plan to visit to verify their identification requirements)

Steps

1

Plan your DMV visit by making an appointment to visit a field office here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/portal/foa/welcome (This is not a requirement but strongly recommended)

2

Complete the electronic driver license and ID card application online before your office visit. You can fill it here: https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/forms/dl/dl44

3

Pay the application fee of $31 for ID Card during your DMV visit.

4

See the List of documents to apply for a REAL ID and bring original or certified documents to your DMV visit that prove the following: 1) Identity, such as a certified U.S. birth certificate, U.S. passport, permanent resident card, or unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. visa and approved I-94 form. NOTE: Name change documents, such as a certified marriage certificate, if the name on your identity document (for example, a birth certificate) is different than your current legal name. 2) Social Security number, such as Social Security Card (here’s how to order a replacement one) or W-2 form with full SSN. NOTE: If you have changed your name, the name on your Social Security document must match your legal name change document. 3) California residency, such as home utility bill that lists your name and physical address (a P.O. Box can be used as the mailing address to receive your REAL ID, but your residency document must display a P.O. Box and physical address).

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