The California Department of Motor Vehicles says it is now in full compliance with federal requirements for so-called Real ID driver licenses or identification cards.
The state says it received notification of approval by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Wednesday.
“California has been working toward compliance for a long time, and it is a testament to the hard work of many that this day has arrived,” said Kathleen Webb, acting director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). “We thank the Department of Homeland Security for its approval as we work to prepare Californians for the new federal identification requirements that begin October 2020.”
On Thursday, local resident resident Nini Hensley sat patiently for her numbered to be called in order to obtain a Real ID card. Last time, there were some hiccups in the process.
“I had my birth certificate, certified but it had my maiden name on it, which you cannot use,” Hensley said. “Been married 47 years and that was not acceptable.”
Applicants initially had to provide one proof of residency, but Homeland Security later decided two are needed.
Real ID cardholders who only submitted one proof of residency will receive an address verification letter that must be signed and mailed back.
Letters will be sent to approximately 3.6 million holders of the 4.1 million Real ID cards issued to date.
Americans will need to show a valid passport or federally approved document such as a Real ID to board airline flights in the U.S. starting on Oct. 1, 2020. You won’t need a Real ID to drive.
Hensley has some other tips for saving a headache and time at the DMV.
“Ask questions,” she said. “Ask questions ahead of time. Then you won’t come and wait and wait and wait and not have the right documents. They’ve been very helpful.”