California DMV Begins Offering Federally Approved Real ID Drivers Licenses

California DMV Begins Offering Federally Approved Real ID Drivers Licenses

KMIR

Palm Desert, CA

Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) across California began issuing the so-called real ID’s on Monday. A real ID is a federally approved drivers license or identification card.

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People waited in long lines at the Palm Desert DMV Monday morning to apply for a real ID card. DMV Spokesperson Marty Greenstein said people are not required to obtain a real ID card. "This is an optional card that will be the only California ID accepted at airport security starting in October 2020," Greenstein said. 

Edwin Parra knew he eventually needed a real ID drivers license, so he made an appointment for Monday. "I was getting ready to do changes to my existing license and I noticed that there was a new updated license for traveling in the U.S. and I just signed up for that one," Parra explained. 

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However many did not bring all the required paperwork to obtain a real ID. "Now I have to go back home and get everything," said Jared Huss, who came to the DMV to apply for a real ID. 

To get a real ID you must apply in person and bring at least three documents. The required documentation includes proof of identify, such as a passport or birth certificate, proof of social security number, such as a social security card or W-2 form, and proof of California residency, such a utility bill or rental agreement.  "And then if you’re someone like my wife, who changed their legal name, then you have to bring in the name change document as well, like a marriage certificate," Greenstein reminded people. 

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A California drivers license will still be valid, but if you want to fly domestically, a passport will be required to board a flight. "These are federal requirements from the Department of Homeland Security that they’ll be enforcing these stricter ID standards at airports, military bases and secure federal facilities," Greenstein explained. 

Edwin Parra said he believes the real ID will be worth it. "You know that they’re going to be checking more on who’s going to be on the plane, so it makes you feel safer."

The fee for a real ID is the same as a drivers license or ID card.