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Still need a 'REAL ID'? You have one year left before airports begin requiring it

The Department of Homeland Security will require federally accepted identification like a 'REAL ID' or valid passport to board flights in the U.S. starting May 2023.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — If you're planning to use your driver's license or identification card to board a flight within the U.S., you have one year left before the REAL ID deadline.

Starting May 3, 2023, a California REAL ID will need to be added to your driver's license or existing ID card to continue using it as federally accepted identification.

Besides needing it to enter certain federal buildings REAL ID can also be used as identification to board flights.

Visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov to start your application and upload your documents before visiting your local DMV office to finish the process.

Documents needed:

  • One proof of identity
  • Two proofs of California residency
  • Your social security number

“The California DMV has taken many steps to make getting a REAL ID as easy and convenient as possible,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “By going online to fill out the application and upload necessary documents, customers can get in and out of a field office in minutes. I encourage Californians to get their REAL ID now to beat the expected rush as the federal enforcement deadline draws closer.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security first announced the phased enforcement plan in 2013, and half of all the states have already met the REAL ID minimum standards.

While a passport may allow you to fly within the U.S., a REAL ID does not replace a passport for international travel.

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