Legal List With Loni: What is a Real ID?

If you live in California and have a driver's license, you are going to want to know all the details about a Real ID. Attorney Loni Coombs is back for another Legal List with Loni to break down popular questions about Real IDs.

"Do I need one?" 

If you want to continue to use your California license to get through the TSA when you are flying domestically or you need to go into secure federal facilities, like federal courthouses or military bases, you will need to get a real ID. But you won't need the ID until Oct. 1, 2020. 

"There is always rumors that you need it now but you have a year," said Coombs. "But you need to get on it now and apply so don't wait."

"What do I need?"

You need three things in order to get a Real ID: proof of identity, a social security number and proof of California residency. For proof of identity, some options could be a passport, birth certificate or a permanent resident card. To prove you have a social security number, you could bring a social security card, a W-2 form or a pay stub. To prove residency in California, you could bring a lease agreement, an utility bill in your name or a car registration. 

For proof of identity and proof of a social security number, you only need to bring in one form, but to prove California residency you need two different forms. Coombs said proving residency can be trickier for some people because their name isn't on bills or a lease. 

"If all those things are in someone else's name because you are living with your parents or your kids or it's in your spouses name, you can still use them," said Coombs. "You just need to prove the relationship." 

Another thing to keep in mind is to make sure the forms are the original copy or a certified copy. The DMV will not accept anything else.

"Do I need to go to the DMV?" 

You have to go in person to the DMV to get your Real ID. When you go to the DMV make sure you have everything you need so you aren't turned away.  Coombs recommends to make an appointment and fill out the application online before you go to avoid long lines. 

"What if I don't get a Real ID?"

If you don't have a Real ID, your drivers license can still used for other day-to-day things.

"There are some things people are worried about 'Can I still go to the Post Office? Can I still use public ground transportation? Can I still go into a hospital without a Real ID?'" said Coombs. "You can. You can still get your VA benefits, your social security benefits, you don't need a Real ID for that."

Passports can also be used to board planes domestically and used to enter federal buildings instead of a real ID.

For more information visit the your local DMV or check out their website.

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