CA deadline to get a real identity for free approaches this week

CALIFORNIA – California residents have until Dec. 31 to get a REAL ID for free, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Residents who renewed a license or identity card between March 2020 and July 2021 can receive a free upgrade, the agency said.

The state does not require residents to be upgraded, but Californians will need a REAL ID or passport to board all domestic flights or enter secure federal facilities after May 3, 2023 – the latest. deadline for REAL ID. Those under the age of 18 are not required to have this ID to steal.

It’s important to note that the new federally compliant ID card is slightly different from a traditional California driver’s license. This new card will have a small golden bear in the upper right corner, while a driver’s license will be marked “Federal limits apply”.

(California Department of Motor Vehicles)

Any Californian who can prove legal presence in the United States with an accepted ID document is eligible to apply for that card, officials said. Beneficiaries of DACA and Temporary Protected Status are also eligible if their documents are up to date, the DMV said. See the REAL ID checklist here.

The REAL ID law was adopted after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to establish minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and state-issued identity cards.

Information on REAL ID in Spanish can be found here.

How to Apply for REAL ID in California

To apply for the new card, you will need to gather some documents and go to the DMV.1. First collect one of the following identity documents:

  • Valid US passport
  • Birth certificate
  • U.S. certificate or consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of naturalization or citizenship
  • Valid and unexpired permanent resident card
  • EAD card (unexpired work authorization document) (I-766) or valid / expired EAD card with notice of action (I-797 C)
  • Unexpired Permanent Resident Card or Valid / Expired Permanent Resident Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C) or Notice of Approval (I-797)
  • Unexpired foreign passport stamped “Treaty for I-551”
  • Documents reflecting eligibility for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) benefits

2. Then find proof of your social security number (full number required)

  • Social security card
  • Form W-2
  • Form SSA-1099
  • Non SSA-1099 form
  • Pay stub

3. Gather two of these documents to prove your residence in California

  • Home utility bills (including cell phones)
  • Medical documents
  • Car or boat registration
  • Work documents
  • Insurance documents
  • Bank and financial institution documents
  • Confirmation of change of address by the United States Postal Service
  • Mortgage invoice
  • Rental or lease contract (signed by owner and tenant)
  • California IRS or FTB tax return

4. Complete the online application process and upload your documents here.

5. Visit a DMV office. Find one near you.
“Check wait times before you go and bring your request confirmation code,” officials said. “Your confirmation code will work as an appointment.”

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