Published on August 19th, 2019
If you have a California driver’s license and receive a Long Beach traffic ticket, you may notice that you’re asked to obtain a different kind of license.
By 2020, people who are regularly on domestic flights or who enter military bases of government buildings must obtain a REAL ID.
Without one, your daily routines could be interrupted. The state began issuing the new IDs in January 2018, and anyone who requires one will need to receive it by October 1, 2020.
To qualify for the new REAL ID under the REAL ID Act, you’ll need to provide several qualifying documents, including one proving your identity, one showing your social security number, and two different documents that show your street address as prove of residence in California.
Residency documents can be photocopied, but keep in mind that you may need to present additional documents if you’ve changed your legal name.
Some qualifying documents include unexpired passports, permanent resident cards, W-2 forms, utility bills, car registrations, and more.
Differences Between Traditional IDs And REAL IDs
Not everybody is required to have the new REAL ID. Typically, if you don’t work in a government building and rarely fly, you won’t need one.
There are some other differences between the two, though, so it is important to understand them both before deciding which one meets your needs.
Applying for a REAL ID requires visiting the Department of Motor Vehicle sin person and using certified documents (only residency documents can be photocopies).
You can use a REAL ID to fly domestically, enter federal facilities, and more. These cars have a bear and star on the top right corner.
Traditional driver’s licenses are eligible for renewal online, so may not require an in-person DMV visit. However, these cards are not usable as a federal identification card for flights or to enter federal facilities or military bases and will be unusable for these situations after October 1, 2020. Traditional IDs have a “federal limits apply” emblem on the top right.
Obtaining Your REAL ID
You’ll need to take several steps to obtain your new REAL ID. First, plan your DMV visit. Most people don’t have time to sit and wait all day, but you can schedule an appointment online to save time and stress on the day you need to renew. You can also fill out an online application to save time before your office visit.
When you arrive at the DMV, you’ll need to provide your documents. Bring an identity document, such as a birth certificate or valid passport, any documents showing you’ve changed your name (if applicable), your social security card, and two documents showing your address, such as a utility bill.
Keep in mind that you will need original documents for everything except the residency ones, which can be photocopies.
Remember to bring a method of payment as well. If you are getting a new driver’s license, you’ll need to pay $36. If you only need an identification card, expect to pay $31.
Your new REAL ID will make it easier for you to fly, do your job, or enter military bases. However, keep in mind that it will not protect you from traffic tickets. Luckily, if you find yourself pulled over for a traffic violation, you’ll have options to “fight my traffic ticket” in Long Beach, CA.