How do I know if I have a real ID in California?

How do I know if I have a real ID in California?

In the upper right corner of a REAL ID issued in California, there will be a grizzly bear and a star. In such location, a federally non-compliant card will say "Federal Limits Apply." You cannot use this card to board an airplane or enter a federal building.

The only way to know for sure if you have a REAL ID is to check with your local DMV. Even if you don't plan to use it for any other purpose than getting a driver's license, it's important to know that it exists.

In the state of California, only new licenses will have the Federal Limit notice on them. As long as your current license isn't showing evidence of having been suspended or revoked, then you don't need a REAL ID-compliant one. If it is, you'll need to get that done before you can renew your license.

Real IDs were introduced by Congress in 2005 to help prevent fraudulent uses of drivers' licenses. The cards carry a number of restrictions prohibiting their use by certain groups such as terrorists or illegal immigrants. States must comply with these restrictions by creating their own compliant versions of the Real ID. The Federal Government will not accept licenses from states that do not meet its standards. However, even if your state accepts the Federal limits, it may still choose not to enforce them.

What does a California Real ID license look like?

A California REAL ID will include a picture of a golden bear with a star on its back in the upper right corner. This is the REAL ID emblem, which indicates that the license is a REAL ID license. A non-federally compliant license (i.e., one that is not a REAL ID) would have the phrase "Federal Limits Apply" in that location instead.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has announced that it is adopting new regulations to require all drivers in California to possess a valid REAL ID card by October 1, 2020. The new rules go into effect on January 1, 2021.

Those who do not comply could face penalties including suspension or revocation of their driver's license.

In addition, vehicles registered in California that do not have a REAL ID license hanging from the rear-view mirror may be subject to inspection at any time during business hours. If an officer detects that you are not in possession of a REAL ID-compliant license, you will be given 30 days to obtain one before your license can be reinstated.

People who believe they qualify as "real people" and should be granted an extension can do so by contacting the DMV directly.

However, only federal officials have the authority to issue real IDs. They can be obtained from your local DMV or online through You must present a valid form of identification when obtaining a REAL ID, such as a passport or military ID.

What are the requirements for a real ID in California?

A REAL ID driver's license or identity card issued by California satisfies these new criteria and is emblazoned with a gold bear and star. To apply for a REAL ID, you must provide evidence of identification, a social security number (SSN) if eligible, proof of California residency, and a visit to a DMV office. An SSN can be provided on an application for a Driver License or Identification Card.

Those who don't have an SSN can still obtain a REAL ID-compliant license by providing other valid forms of identification that show their name and birth date. These documents include: a passport, citizenship document, permanent resident card, alien registration card, military ID, school ID, health care ID or credit card with a photo on it. Proof of residence includes a utility bill, bank statement, government check, lease, or property tax receipt that shows the person has a current address in California.

Those who qualify under this new law will be able to use their REAL ID-compliant license to board a plane or enter federal facilities such as courthouses and national parks. The old licenses are no longer valid for air travel or federal facilities. Drivers who do not comply with the new law may find themselves barred from certain federal programs or prohibited from driving on federal roads.

The new law goes into effect on October 1, 2008. Those who want to apply for a REAL ID-compliant license can do so before then by visiting a DMV office.

What is a state or federally issued ID?

A Real ID is a driver's license or state ID card that also serves as a form of nationally recognized identity. In California, the Real ID has a gold bear and a star in the top-right corner of the card. It is recognized as a valid form of identification at airports and secure government institutions such as federal courthouses and military sites.

Other states may have their own requirements for what constitutes a valid Real ID. But generally, it means the same thing as in California.

In California, to be considered a "valid" Real ID, you must show a photo on your card. Your photo can either be a full-face shot or a profile picture. If you don't have a photo yet, you can apply for a free temporary ID card from DMV. These cards are called "photo IDs" and they are valid for 90 days. You can choose any name for your photo ID card and these names can be used by anyone who might need to identify you. There is no charge for naming your ID.

A Real ID is required by federal law if you want to fly within the United States. However, even if you aren't flying within the United States, it's still a good idea to get a Real ID because it will help others recognize your appearance if you ever need to be identified by a police officer or other official.

About Article Author

Marcus Hormell

Marcus Hormell is a security expert, survivalist and personal safety consultant. His expertise includes developing emergency response plans for businesses, schools and individuals. Marcus knows that accidents happen; he has survived all sorts of life-threatening situations including being shot at by rebels in Mali. He wants to help people to develop their own emergency response plans so that if something goes wrong they'll be ready!

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