DMV Simplifies REAL ID Application Process

Taylor Martinez

Californians applying for a REAL ID from the Department of Motor Vehicles no longer have to provide a Social Security card or W-2 to prove they have a Social Security number. Instead they can now simply provide their Social Security number.

Those applying can fill out the online application, upload their documents and bring their confirmation code and documents to a DMV office. Once you get to a service window, it takes less than 10 minutes to complete the REAL ID transaction. No appointment is necessary.

“Getting a REAL ID in California just got a little easier,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “We continue to streamline the REAL ID process so that customers can upload required documents, avoid long lines and get a REAL ID well in advance of the federal enforcement date.”

To apply for a REAL ID, an applicant must provide a valid Social Security number, proof of identity and two proofs of California residency. A list of qualifying documents and other helpful information can be found at

Customers are required to wear face coverings and maintain physical distance during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

Starting May 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved document, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the United States and access secure federal facilities and military bases.

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