California Department of Motor Vehicles

DMV Warns of ‘Summer Surge' as People Seek REAL IDs

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is telling lawmakers to prepare for a "summer surge" as people begin to realize they’ll need a REAL ID by the October 2020 deadline.

The DMV said this could be a major problem as just over 10 percent of drivers in the state received their REAL ID driver's license or identification card as of January 2018.

Besides the long lines and long waits, there’s also fear that the DMV may not be able to meet demand for the IDs as it currently issues between 300,000 to 400,000 cards a month and expect the number to jump in the near future to as many as 500,000 to 600,000.

"I think it’s going to be a lot of pressure on the DMV," said Joanna Zesiger from Laskspur. "I mean look at the line today, I was here yesterday and left so I’m back."

Lawmakers want the DMV to accommodate the surge with more workers and better technology.

"If you’re prepared, I think it’s fine," said Craig Blum from San Rafael. "Just knowing what to do. I think there’s a certain system when it comes to the DMV and if you know how it works, it could be painless."

When it comes to entering a federal facility or boarding a domestic flight by the time the October 2020 deadline arrives, people won't need to have a REAL ID driver's license or identification card. They will still be allowed access if they present a valid passport, passport card or global entry card.

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