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Real ID Cards Needed Before Air Travel Next Summer

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Sacramento, CA– The federal enforcement date for Real ID is May 3, 2023, on that day the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved documents, 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.

More than 14 million Californians now have a Real ID, with an increase of 270,586 in the month of August. Back on September 1, 2021 there were 11,404,734 Real ID cardholders.

If you plan to travel by plane anywhere next summer, you can get your Real ID now. DMV Director Steve Gordon says, “Whether flying for family gatherings or family avoidance, if you fly in the U.S., soon you are going to need to have a Real ID if you want to use your license or ID card to board a plane. No need to wait.”

To apply for a Real ID, Californians should visit, fill out the online application and can also upload the documents online. As reported here updated federal rules mean the DMV no longer requires applicants to provide a Social Security card or W-2 to prove they have a Social Security number. All required documents need to be brought to the DMV by the applicant in person:

  • Proof of identity* – One original or certified document (example: valid passport, birth certificate) *Legal name change document(s) 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)

For a complete list of acceptable documents and to start the online application, go to

The Transportation Security Association (TSA) details that children under 18 will still not be required to provide identification when traveling within the United States. Details about the possibility of being able to fly if you arrive at an airport without valid federal identification are on the TSA’s website here.