Prepare for Summer Travels with a REAL ID

Sacramento – Nearly 17.6 million Californians now have a REAL ID – an increase of 140,096 from May 2024, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The warmth and adventure of summer is upon us, and the DMV encourages residents to celebrate the season by securing their REAL ID. With less than a year until the federal enforcement date of May 7, 2025, now is the perfect time to ensure you are prepared for all your summer travels and beyond.

“Embrace the spirit of summer freedom and sunshine by getting ready for your future adventures,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “Travel can be easier this time next year if you get your REAL ID now.”

The application process can be started online at, where documents can be uploaded before visiting a DMV office to complete the application. This streamlined process is quick and efficient while significantly reducing the amount of time for an office visit.

The REAL ID does not replace a passport for international travel, but it does ensure that you can continue flying within the United States and accessing secure federal locations without additional documentation.

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.

Historical REAL ID information:

  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of June 1, 2024: 17,564,948
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as of May 1, 2024: 17,424,852
  • Total REAL ID cardholders as June 1, 2023: 15,806,483

Download REAL ID b-roll:

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.


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