If you use a California driver’s license to board U.S. flights, the card in your wallet won’t work a few years from now. Instead, you’ll need a new one called a REAL ID. Getting it requires bringing several key documents, in person, to the DMV.
To comply with federal security requirements passed in 2005, California’s Department of Motor Vehicles will start issuing REAL IDs early next year.
“We obviously don’t want everyone walking in on Jan. 22, 2018,” said Jessica Gonzalez, DMV Spokesperson.
Gonzalez said it’s not clear how many of the state’s 26 million licensed drivers will opt for the new IDs, but the department wants to be ready.
“This year we’re adding over 300 employees across the state to try to help with some of those extra customers coming in. And then also we’re going to be adding Saturday field office hours,” Gonzalez said.
The process requires ID like a birth certificate or passport, as well as proof of social security and California residency. Regular driver’s licenses won’t work at the airport after October 2020.