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Identification (ID) cards are used to prove your identity or age (like driver’s licenses) but they do not allow you to operate a motor vehicle.


In California, DMV may issue an ID card to a person of any age. There are three types of ID cards:

  • REAL ID card: As of the new May 3, 2023 deadline, you must present a federal compliant ID (such as a passport, military ID, or a REAL ID) to board a domestic flight or enter certain secure federal facilities like military bases, federal courthouses, or other federal buildings. 


  ^RECOMMENDED – A REAL ID or passport will soon be required for domestic flights.

  • Standard ID card: As of the new May 3, 2023 deadline, the standard ID card will no longer be accepted for use boarding domestic flights or entering federal facilities. It will, however, continue to be used to prove identity and age. Standard ID cards are valid for six birthdates after the application date.
  • Senior citizen ID card: Seniors 62 years old or older are eligible for a no-fee senior citizen ID card. Valid for eight birthdates after the application date.


How to Apply for an ID Card

To apply for an ID card:

  • Complete a Driver’s License (DL) or ID Card Application.
  • Visit a DMV office, where you will:
    • Provide your social security number (SSN).
    • Verify your identity with an acceptable identity document. Your current name needs to match the name on the identity document.
    • Present acceptable residency documents (if you have never had a California DL/ID card).
    • Pay the nonrefundable application fee (see below for information about reduced- and no-fee ID cards).
    • Have your thumbprint scanned.
    • Have your photo taken.
    • If you want to apply for a REAL ID, you must also provide proof of your identity, SSN, and two proofs of residency from the list of acceptable REAL ID documents.

You will receive your new ID card via mail within 3-4 weeks. If you have not received your new ID card after 60 days, call us at (916) 672-1284 to check the status.


Reduced Fee ID Cards

Generally, there is a nonrefundable fee to apply for a new ID card, to renew an ID card, or to change your name on your ID card. In certain circumstances, the fee may be waived or reduced:

  • Reduced fee ID card: You may be eligible to pay a reduced application fee for an original or renewal ID card if you meet income requirements for selected governmental or non-profit assistance programs. If you are eligible, the program will give you a completed Verification for Reduced Fee Identification Card (DL 937) form to take to DMV office. See your local public assistance program agency for information about eligibility requirements and obtaining a DL 937.
  • No-fee ID card: You may be eligible for a no-fee ID card if you are a “homeless person” as defined by the McKinney-Vento Act. This includes (but isn’t limited to) a homeless child or youth, a homeless person, or an individual or family fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or another dangerous, life-threatening condition.
  • Senior ID card: To qualify for a no-fee senior citizen ID card, you must be at least 62 years old.