SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — With a deadline looming, California is planning to spend more than $220 million to bring driver’s licenses and state identification cards up to federal standards.

Gov. Jerry Brown’s revised budget proposal includes money to help process an expected flood of applications for cards that comply with the U.S. Real ID Act.

The act was enacted in 2005 to make IDs more secure in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The original deadline was 2008, but it repeatedly was extended because states had trouble complying.

California and about 20 other states were granted extensions. But the stakes have risen because the Trump administration has set a deadline of Oct. 1, 2020. After that, air travelers won’t be able to use non-complaint cards as proof of identification at airport security checkpoints.

The new cards, which carry special markings, will be available in California as of next Jan. 2. But people must apply for them in person at Department of Motor Vehicle offices — not online or by mail.

Judging by the experiences of other states, about 20 million people could apply, the Sacramento Bee reported (

“When you’re dealing with the number of driver’s licenses we have in California, by definition the numbers are going to be large,” said H.D. Palmer, a spokesman for the state Department of Finance.

Applicants must provide more documentation than currently needed, including a birth certificate or other proof of birth and more proof that they are legal California residents and have a Social Security number.

A California law that took effect two years ago allows people in the country illegally to obtain licenses, but they cannot be used to board airplanes or enter federal facilities.

Brown’s budget would provide $220.6 million to hire up to 715 workers by the 2019/20 fiscal year, fund a marketing campaign about the cards and pay for overtime and other costs of keeping more DMV offices open on Saturdays to meet the demand.

DMV officials said they have been working on Real ID-compliant cards for years. “The DMV has been implementing practices that make our cards some of the best-protected in the country,” spokeswoman Jessica Gonzalez said.

Comments (3)
  1. re: “The act was enacted in 2005 to make IDs more secure in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The original deadline was 2008, but it repeatedly was extended because states had trouble complying….Brown’s budget would provide $220.6 million to hire 2,700 workers over the next six years…

    So, anybody else wondering why California DMV needs 18+ years to make a design change?
    The federal law came out in 2005, we’re in 2017, and we need 6 more years to comply.
    DMV incompetence, illegal alien politics, and democrats in charge, that’s the ticket.

    Because Cali refused to make licenses for illegals, that had distinct, unique, easy-to-see markings. The federal law requires legitimate licenses to be clearly different from those given to illegal aliens. California instead made illegal alien licenses that looked so much like the legitimate ones, that you needed a magnifying glaszs to tell them apart.

    And with 8 years of Obama, California kept putting it off, knowing that a friendly Dem prez wouldn’t force the issue.

  2. I wouldn’t trust DMV to make a lawful license. They will still pander to the illegals and make another version to make it VERY hard for TSA to tell the difference between illegal alien and legitimate licenses.

    And when the feds reject this new version….you will be stuck with a license you cannot use for flying or border crossing.

    Solution: get a paszsport and don’t rely on the DMV to do their jobs. They won’t. The illegal alien-friendly dirtbag democrats in the legislature will make sure of that.

  3. Sounds like another Brown scam to waste taxpayer money. The DMV offices don’t make or print the licenses. Fill out the form go to the local DMV, get the pic and it’s done by machine at the Main DVC facility. Somebody that’s on the inside is making money on this BS scam. Follow the money and I’ll bet it’s connected to a family member or a connected cronie of a politician and money is coming back to them. Could be wrong, but I’d doubt it.

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