DMV to send letters to CA residents who may not have valid REAL ID

Residents who got the new California REAL ID are learning that some may not be valid. It is a situation that could impact up to three million Californians.

California has been issuing REAL ID cards since January of 2018. Originally, the DMV only needed one document to show proof of residency. But then Department of Homeland Security changed the requirement and now want two forms.

The DMV is trying to simplify the process.

It will be sending letters to people who don't meet the federal requirement. Those who receive a letter in the mail, need to check the box confirming their mailing address is correct. That will satisfy the second form of residency requirement. The DMV will provide a prepaid return envelope.

Initially, the DMV was to send out the letters in early April, however, there have been delays.

The new REAL ID cards are in response to tougher federal aviation rules. Beginning in October 1, 2020, Californians will need a REAL ID to fly domestically. A driver license will no longer be allowed as a form of identification. Californians can also use their passports.

A REAL ID driver license (DL) issued with one form of residency is still valid to drive in California.

According to the DMV's website: "If a customer's REAL ID DL/ID card does not expire before the REAL ID enforcement date of October 1, 2020, the federal government should accept it to fly within the United States and enter secure federal facilities and military bases."

However, some analysts warn not to take that risk and to become compliant with the two form of residency requirement as soon as possible.

Proof of residency includes a home utility or cell phone bill, vehicle registration card, mortgage or lease agreement, bank account or property tax bill.

You'll find answers for frequently asked questions about Real ID here.
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