Soon Everyone Will Need a Real ID

Federal law goes into effect May 3

Real ID InfoStarting May 3, 2022, California will be implementing the federal REAL ID Act into effect, which requires residents to carry a “real ID” in order to board flights within the United States and enter secure facilities such as military bases, courthouses, and other federal establishments. One characteristic that identifies whether an individual possesses a REAL ID is that the card should have a gold bear and star in the upper right corner. The absence of this indicator means that one does not possess this soon-to-be mandated identification.

The process for obtaining this new identification card is straightforward. One can visit the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website and simply follow the provided instructions and checklists before scheduling an appointment to receive said ID card. 

Documents needed for the appointment include, but are not limited to one proof of identity, such as a valid U.S. passport, a birth certificate, a valid resident card, or a certification of citizenship. The document of choice must include one’s date of birth, and full name (first, middle, and last). Additionally, any legal name changes will require legal name change documents. 

Once said documents are acquired, one can then fill out the application to obtain a real ID through the DMV website, found in the same subsection as the Document checklist. In order to complete the application, one must create a free DMV account which only requires an email address, password, contact information, and social security. An individual need not worry if they cannot complete the application in one sitting. Users are free to log out and log back in whenever they are ready to finish the application. 

Once the application is complete, all that is left is to schedule an appointment at the DMV in order to have their photo taken for their new, real ID card.