Californians have less than a year to get a REAL ID

Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 02, 2019

Starting October 1, 2020, those without valid passports or military IDs will need a REAL ID driver's license or identification card to be able to board planes or get into federal buildings.

With now less than a year to comply, millions of Californians may end up waiting longer than they would like at DMV offices.

"I think they should actually give us more time because there are way too many people in California," said Santa Maria resident Martha Alba.

According to the California DMV, wait times have been reduced in comparison to what was experienced in 2018, but that could change.

"We can't really predict what will happen in the future but we know that human nature will have people procrastinate," said California DMV Spokesperson Anita Gore. "We would like people to come into the office prepared."

To save time, DMV customers should have the proper documentation ready when applying for a REAL ID. That includes proof of identity, proof of social security number, and two proofs of residency.

The DMV also recommends setting up an appointment at your local office.

Marilyn Freiler said she was surprised by how fast she was able to get in and out of the office in San Luis Obispo but credits taking the time to be proactive and prepared for her visit.

"Today was pretty fast, though. I got here about 10:30. I had made an appointment for 11 and I am actually pretty surprised I am already out of here," Freiler said as she left the DMV at 11:30 a.m.

The California DMV does offer many of its services online, but those looking to get a REAL ID need to visit an office in person. Click here for more information on how to apply for a REAL ID.

According to the DMV, the current average wait time for people without an appointment in both San Luis Obispo and Santa Maria is over an hour.