Getting a Real ID
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) expects their field offices to be crowded in the summer months, as nearly 20 million residents have yet to come in to get their Real ID. Starting October 2020, this new identification card will be required to board a domestic flight without a passport or enter a federal facility. Since the only way to get one is to physically go to the DMV, I encourage you to make an appointment here to help reduce your wait time. Extended weekday and Saturday hours have been added to several locations to accommodate the demand.
Before you go, please note that the federal government recently notified the DMV that anyone now applying for a Real ID must bring two proofs of residency. The list of acceptable residency documents can be found here.
Prior to April 2019, the federal government allowed Californians to receive a Real ID under a one-document rule. Starting May 20, those Californians will receive notices in the mail with details about how to fulfill this change in requirement without making a return visit to a field office, including simply mailing back the letter to the DMV to serve as a second verification of address.
If you have other DMV business unrelated to Real ID, there are ways to avoid the lines and long wait times. Some transactions can be done online, at self-service kiosks, by phone or by mail. Check out alternatives to office visits here.