Department of Motor Vehicles

DMV office in El Centro

EL CENTRO — Any individual who passes through domestic airport security or enters secure federal buildings and military facilities needs to show a REAL ID or other federal compliant identification such as a valid US passport. 

REAL ID enforcement was supposed to be effective last month, but it was extended for another year. For those who haven’t applied, the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) extended the enforcement deadline to October 1, 2021.

“Due to circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic and the national emergency declaration, the US Department of Homeland Security extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline one year,” said Nicholas Filipas, public information officer, California Department of Motor Vehicles in Sacramento. 

A press release stated, “Beginning October 1, 2021, passengers who want to continue to use their driver’s license or ID card to board a domestic flight will need to show a federal compliant REAL ID driver’s license with special marking. To get one of these cards, a person must apply at a California Department of Motor Vehicles office and provide federally mandated documentation.” 

“Until that time, all valid California driver’s licenses and identification cards will be accepted at airport checkpoints for domestic air travel,” according to the released statement from Sacramento. 

According to the DMV, a REAL ID is a driver’s license or identification card that is also a federally accepted form of identification. It can be used to board a domestic flight within the US and enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, federal courthouses, and other secure federal locations. 

Although REAL ID is a required identification for adults, for children under the age of 18, it is not required when traveling with an adult companion within the United States. According to the DMV website, the companion will need acceptable identification, such as a REAL ID, US Passport, US Passport Card, DHS Trusted Traveler Card, or other forms of identification. 

For more information, visit the DMV website at 

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