Ask the DMV — What you need to know for holiday travel season

Whether you’re planning to travel by car or plane this upcoming holiday season, the last thing you need is added stress. In this edition of Ask the DMV, learn how you can expedite your travels with DMV online services, DMV kiosks and our Business Partner Automation program, while also knowing what documentation is required for air travel.


Q1: I am planning to fly from my home state to another state this holiday season. Do I need a REAL ID to board domestic flights? What about to enter a federal facility, such as a military base?

A1: While you will not need a REAL ID to board domestic flights or to enter federal facilities this holiday season, there is no reason to wait. The enforcement date has been moved to May 3, 2023, but we highly encourage all Californians to get a REAL ID as soon as possible because of high demand. REAL ID appointments are available and you can also check DMV Office wait times online if you do not have an appointment. Even better – you can complete your REAL ID application online and simply finish the transaction in person at a DMV Office.

To apply for a REAL ID, you will need to provide the following documents: one identity document that includes your date of birth and your full name – such as an original or certified birth certificate, or a valid U.S. passport. You’ll also need to provide two documents that show your name and address to prove you’re a California resident. You can use cell phone and utility bills, a mortgage statement, bank statement or even your vehicle registration. Finally, you will need to provide your full social security number.

It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to get your REAL ID. View a full list of acceptable documents and start your application online today at


Q2: My car registration is out of date and I don’t have time to visit the DMV before the holidays. Can I renew my registration online?

A2: Yes! Skip the line this holiday season and renew your vehicle registration online. The DMV offers a variety of online services that make completing your DMV business easy and efficient, from renewing vehicle registration to changing your address, or driver’s license renewal – and much more! You can find a list of online services at

In addition to online services, the DMV offers other methods for completing select transactions to help reduce your trips to the DMV and save you time this holiday season, including DMV kiosks and Business Partner Automation locations:

DMV kiosks are freestanding self-service touchscreen devices that guide you through various DMV transactions, from registration renewal and payment to submitting proof of insurance. You can find a list of DMV kiosk locations at

Our Business Partner Automation program authorizes qualified partners to process vehicle related transactions, including vehicle registration and titling, from their remote locations.

Learn more about our BPA program and what transactions can be processed at

For more information or answers to questions not listed here, visit