Who Can Apply For a CA Real ID Identification Card?
New law has provided anyone, regardless of immigration status or ability to drive, the opportunity to apply for and receive a California Real ID identification card. The official state ID will enable people to work, open bank accounts, gain healthcare access, housing options and benefits; as well as meet federal requirements regarding identity verification and address confirmation. Governor Gavin Newsom signed AB 1766 into law this Friday and it immediately went into effect.
California residents seeking a Real ID driver’s license or identification card must submit two documents that verifiy their identity and California mailing address (such as home utility bills, phone bills, car registration documents, mortgage agreements or lease agreements, change of address confirmation from USPS or bank records). There’s an interactive checklist and more information available from the DMV Real ID page; its cost is $39 though discounts or reduced fees may apply depending on income requirements.
This legislation is the result of bipartisan efforts to ensure California can comply with federal standards that will become effective in 2023. It should help reduce terrorist and criminal use of false identities as well as provide more secure means to identify California residents when traveling outside their own country or entering certain federal facilities like military bases or airports.
Advocates assert that the law’s parameters disproportionately harm those unable or not interested in driving, including older adults, people with disabilities and an disproportionate number of women. Granting them state ID cards could make their lives better by helping them find work quicker or avoiding high transportation costs more cost effectively.