Anyone who renewed their driver's license or identification card during the COVID-19 pandemic may be eligible to upgrade it to a REAL ID for free. The DMV announced the special offer in a statement on Monday, June 21.
Typically a fee is required for a REAL ID at the time of a driver's license application for a new license or renewal.
The offer will only last until the end of the year.
“We don’t want Californians to pay the price for not getting a REAL ID during the pandemic,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “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.”
Those eligible for the free upgrade will still need to visit an office and present proper documentation which includes a valid Social Security number, proof of identity, and two forms of proof of California residency.
Getting the REAL ID as soon as possible is important since the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a REAL ID driver's license or identification card to board any flights starting May 3, 2023.
You can find out more information on upgrading to the REAL ID for free here.