Were you one of the 3.1 million Californians who have already obtained a California Real ID? Whether you are or are not, you should pay close attention – according to the Department of Homeland Security, the application process for obtaining a California Real ID was incorrectly conducted by the California Department of Motor Vehicles. So what does this mean for you? For starters, if you have already obtained a California Real ID, you will need to supplement your already submitted, (and approved), application with additionally required documents. If this is your first time applying for a Real ID, however, being aware of the new changes will help you expedite the entire process.

California Real ID Licenses

Real ID licenses in California were first being issued in January 2018. Although these licenses are optional, they are required for those who wish to enter into military bases, federal buildings, or fly domestically within the U.S. While Real IDs have already been issued, they will not be required until fall 2020. A valid US Passport will still be sufficient for the previous list, by the REAL Id serves this purpose and as a driver license in California.

Key Issues Regarding Already Issued Real IDs

According to a report by CBS, Real IDs have already been issued to millions of Californians. Many frequent travelers and federal employees alike have applied for the license, which will help them stay ahead for when the federal government will require the license in late 2020.

Regrettably, there are reported issues with the documentation needed in the application. According to the Department of Homeland Security, the California DMV had to obtain two forms of identification from each petitioner in order for them to be approved for a Real ID license. The DMV, however, did not request sufficient information from each applicant.

Although the California Department of Motor Vehicles has stated that the Department of Homeland Security had previously approved the application process, the lack of sufficient documentation will demand Real ID holders to submit supplementary documentation. Those who have already been approved for a Real ID may face complex challenges if they cannot provide appropriate documentation.

California Real ID Licenses: Requirements for Current Holders and New Applicants

Individuals who already have an issued Real ID will need to look for a letter from the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to certify his or her current residence. According to some reports, if the information provided in the letter is correct, no additional documentation will be required. The license holder will simply need to sign the letter and return it to the sender.

If the residence is not up to date however, the recipient will need to attach two copies of proof of the current residence and then return the signed letter to the sender.

According to the CA DMV website, new applicants and residence change petitioners will need documents from each of the following sections to apply for a Real ID License:

          1.  Identity Documents – certified copies or original documents only

A. Current passport card

B. Current U.S. passport

C. Birth certificate

D. Certificate of citizenship

E. Certificate of naturalization

F. Current permanent resident card

G. Legal and certified documents supporting applicant’s name change

         2.  Confirmation of Social Security Card – no photocopies, full SSN required

Name on the proof of SSN will need to match the identity documents or name change documents.

A. Social security card

B. SSA-1099 forms

C. W-2 forms

D. Paystubs

E. Non-SSA-1099 forms

        3. California Residency – printed document is required, copies will be accepted

Two documents from the provided list will be required:

A. Car registration

B. Boat registration

C. Home utility bill

D. Cell phone bill

E. Insurance paperwork

F. Medical document

G. Lease agreement

H. Bank record

I. Mortgage bill

J. IRS tax return

K. Documents issued by a government agency

L. School documents

Challenges With Name Change Documentation

Individuals who are married or divorced will need to present legal documents that corroborate the name change in order to have an approved application. For instance, marriage licenses or divorce judgments will be accepted only if the documents have been certified.

Regrettably, there are other groups of people who will also face challenges with the required documentation. Those who have identification documents with different names, for example, will face Real ID denials.

Working Your Way to a California Real ID Application Approval

Fortunately, there are solutions for applicants who have seemingly challenging situations with their required identification documentation. Individuals who need a name change will need to file a petition with the appropriate court as well as set up a court date. Once the application has ensued, the applicant will need to publish the name change in his or her local newspaper. Other mandated steps will include attending the court date, and purchase a copy of the change in name decree. The applicant will only then be able to restart his or her Real ID application again. The entire process can cost upwards of $500 and it can also be a very exhaustive and time-consuming process.

At Just Document Preparation, we have helped California Real ID applicants with their name change process. Applicants can find ease in knowing that our firm has extensive experience in preparing civil name change petitions for the court, and preparing orders for the judge. Furthermore, we also help facilitate the required legal notice publication.

If you are a current Real ID holder or are a new applicant who needs assistance with petitions for a civil name change, you can find more information by visiting our name change page here:  Name Changes.