Need a Real ID? Don't Panic: What to Know During the Government Shutdown

The California DMV has confirmed with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that they will be granting California an extension to April 1, 2019, the DMV said.

As many Californians are struggling to understand the REAL ID rules amid the government shutdown, the California Department of Motor Vehicles said Wednesday that an extension has been granted.

Even though the Department of Homeland Security website may not reflect the extension date of Apr. 1, 2019, the extension was confirmed with the California DMV. The shutdown is making the notification process slower, hence the reason users won't see it on the website.

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, every state will require residents to have REAL IDs for air travel or for entering federal buildings. The security changes came after 9/11, in order to make it harder for terrorists to travel domestically inside the U.S.

The DMV had issued 2.3 million REAL IDs in California before receiving a notice that something had gone wrong. The California DMV only required one document proving residency, while the federal government said two would be required. 

The millions of REAL IDs were still deemed valid, however, but going forward, all California residents must show two forms of residency to obtain a REAL ID starting April 2019.  

Until April 2019, Californians flying out of the state will be able to use their driver's license or California ID, according to the DHS website


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TSA lists acceptable forms of ID as driver's licenses or other state photo identity cards, U.S. passports, U.S. passport cards, and more.

So what will you need to travel?

DHS says you will only need your driver's license or state ID. But if you'd like to be extra cautious, you can bring your driver's license and another form of federal ID, like a passport. This is only if you do not have a REAL ID. 

The good news is that you can use the two forms of ID even after the 2020 deadline if you have not yet received your REAL ID.

How do I get a REAL ID?

  • You will have to make an appointment to visit a DMV office. 
  • You have to complete the application online before your visit.
  • You need to bring forms of identification, proof of social security, and two paper copies (no digital versions) of proof of residency. You will need two "proofs" of California residency starting April 2019. Find specific information here. 
  • Pay the $36 fee.
  • You can also use the DMV's digital checklist here
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