CA DMV waiving REAL ID fees for those who got new licenses, IDs during pandemic

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Californians who received their driver's licenses or identification cards from the Department of Motor Vehicles during the pandemic are eligible to upgrade those cards for a REAL ID at no additional charge.

At the start of the pandemic, the DMV expanded the eligibility to renew licenses by mail or online.

The department estimates around 5.7 million Californians received a new driver's license or ID that isn't a REAL ID card between March 2020 and July 2021.

RELATED: What's a passport card, and can it replace a Real ID?
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If you're not inclined to take the time to get a Real ID, here's a lesser-known alternative.



To encourage more people to get the soon-to-be federally required REAL ID card, the department will waive the fees paid by those customers during that time. Click here for more information on how to upgrade your license or ID card to a REAL ID.

The DMV said the offer to upgrade lasts through the end of the year.

To receive a REAL ID, you must go to the DMV in person. Click here for more information on how to get a REAL ID card.

RELATED: REAL ID deadline pushed back to 2023 due to pandemic

The federal government says air travelers 18 or older will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or identification card or another TSA-acceptable for security checkpoints to fly domestically. The deadline for Americans to obtain a REAL ID card was pushed back to May 2023 due to the pandemic.

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