Remember that deadline for getting a REAL ID? You’ve got about seven months.

After the COVID-19 pandemic effectively shut down Department of Motor Vehicle offices across the state, the Department of Homeland Security announced last year that the deadline to obtain a REAL ID would be extended a year to Oct. 1, 2021. 

After that, a driver’s license that reads “Federal Limits Apply’’ will no longer be acceptable as identification when flying domestically or visiting secure federal buildings. While it is not a requirement to get a REAL ID, travelers will need to update their drivers license to a REAL ID or use federal identification for those purposes. 

According to the Department of Motor Vehicles website, if you want to continue to use a U.S. passport, U.S. passport card, military ID, enhanced driver license, or other federally accepted identification to do those things, you do not need to get a REAL ID, however, it is recommended.  

The new form of identification is part of the REAL ID Act, which was passed by Congress in 2005 in an effort to standardize issuing identification.

Since a REAL ID is a form of federal identification, DMV officials say that you must visit a local office in person when applying for the first time. 

The Willows DMV, located at 815 N. Humboldt Avenue, Willows, the Red Bluff DMV, 675 Monroe Street, Red Bluff, and the Colusa DMV, located at 1025 Bridge St., Suite B, Colusa, are open 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays. Both offices are closed on weekends. 

DMV is encouraging people to apply for a REAL ID sooner, rather than later, because of the high demand for REAL ID between now and Oct. 1 – when the new federal identification requirements begin. DMV also suggests applying for a REAL ID at the time of your identification renewal cycle, if possible. 

Prior to visiting DMV to obtain a REAL ID, DMV suggests gathering the necessary  documentation. The documents needed for a REAL ID appointment are: 

– Proof of identity: “To apply for a REAL ID card, you must present one identity document that includes your date of birth and your true full name (first, middle, and last),” according to the DMV website. 

– Does your current full name match the name on your identification document? If not, a questionnaire will prompt the user to answer additional questions about their names. 

– Proof of Social Security Number: “You must also present one original (not a copy) document that shows your name and full Social Security Number, if eligible,” according to the DMV website. Additional forms such as a W-2 form, pay stub with the full number or Social Security Administration 1099 form are also acceptable. 

Those ineligible for an SSN can still apply for a REAL ID.

–Two proofs of residency: Applicants must provide two printed documents (no electronic files allowed) showing the applicant’s California address with their full name and the same mailing address. 

Example documents include a rental or lease agreement, mortgage bill, home utility bill, medical documents, school documents or tax returns. 

The REAL ID application can be done online prior to visiting the DMV office in person and documents can be uploaded to the application. Hard copies of the documents should also be brought to the DMV appointment as well, should additional verification be required. 

DMV recommends saving your online application confirmation code and bringing it with you to your appointment. 

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