California DMV announces free offer valid through 2021


A non-compliant California license has the words “Federal limits apply” in the upper right-hand corner instead of a Golden Bear.

The California DMV announces Monday that all Californians who received driver’s licenses or identification cards during the pandemic but did not get a REAL ID can upgrade for free through the end of the year.

“We don’t want Californians to pay the price for not getting a REAL ID during the pandemic,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said in a statement. “While the federal government has extended the enforcement date for a REAL ID, there is no need to procrastinate. If you act now, you can take advantage of this offer and upgrade to a REAL ID for free.”

To get a REAL ID, you must visit a DMV office in person but the agency recently simplified the process to fall in line with new federal rules.

The DMV no longer requires applicants to provide both a Social Security card and W-2 to prove they have a Social Security number. You only need to provide your Social Security number in addition to proof of identity and two proofs of California residency.



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