The Real ID Act is a federal law that changes the requirements for identification cards (ID’s).

Under the Real ID Act, you will no longer be able to use your old California driver’s license as a valid means of identification for use in airports and other federal buildings.

How Long Your California Driver’s License Will Last Before You Need a Real ID

You can use your old California driver’s license as an ID in the airport or federal buildings up until October 1, 2020.

After that date, your passport, which you used to bring only for international flights, can be used as a valid means of ID for domestic flights.

If you do not have a passport and do not intend on getting one, you will have to get a Real ID or a Real ID compliant California driver’s license by October 1, 2020.

On January 22, 2018, California DMV began offering the Real ID and the Real ID-compliant California driver’s license.

Do I Need a Real ID to Drive?

No – even a California driver’s license that is not compliant with the Real ID Act is still valid (assuming you have no FTA charge that may result in a suspended license).

How to Apply for a Real ID

In California, there are a few different documents you will need. You can view them here on the Real ID Checklist.

Free Consultation with Traffic Ticket Attorney

Some people find out years later their license is not actually valid, due to unpaid traffic tickets. If this is you, I am a traffic ticket attorney practicing in Los Angeles and can advise you of your rights before you pay GC Services – the dishonest collections agency.

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