CA ID Cards
Proving your identity is a big deal no matter where you are. The California DMV not only provides the driver’s license that proves the identity of drivers, but also the California identification card that will prove the identity of non-drivers within the state. If you aren’t a driver, it is imperative that you obtain a California ID card as it is the most requested proof of identification.
- Children—especially over the age of 13
- Any non-driver in California
There is no online service for obtaining your ID card, as it is a proof of identity, therefore requires that you first prove your identity before you are provided the card. If you aren’t sure what is considered acceptable documentation of identification with the California DMV: Please visit List of acceptable documnets of Identification
Getting Your Appointment
It is essential that you first make an appointment to get your California ID, as the appointment is a definite guarantee that your wait time will be much less than without. The California DMV offices are very busy, which means that walk-in service is going to be quite a wait, if not a second trip altogether.
The California DMV offers two different methods of getting your appointment:
- Online: Appointment System
- By Phone, Mon-Fri 8am-5pm, Wed 9-5: 1-800-777-0133
Once you have set your appointment, you can be confident that you will be able to obtain your ID within no time, avoiding a long and annoying wait in the DMV.
At the DMV
Once your appointment day arrives, you will need to have all the necessary paperwork and documentation to confirm you are who you say and get your California ID card. You will complete the process with these documents, as well as submission of a few other things too.
- Complete form DL 44, California Driver’s License or Identification Card Application, which is only offered by the DMV and cannot be downloaded online or copied
- You will be thumb printed by the DMV.
- You will then take your ID card photo.
- Provide your valid Social Security Card, or other form of documentation that proves your social security card. You will also provide proof of legal status and birth date, which you can find documents accepted at Birth date verification and Legal presence requirements.
- Pay your fee: cash, money order, check, Debit/ATM card—NO CREDIT CARDS
California ID Fees
There are different fees for different people in California. If you are obtaining a standard identification card in California, you will pay $26, which pertains to most of those applying for an ID. Seniors aged 62 and over will be exempt from paying a fee at all, while low income applicants are given a discount for a fee of $7. To find out if you are qualified for this reduced fee, visit Reduced-Fee ID Card
- Once your application is completed and submitted with the other documents and fees, you will be given a receipt that you must retain as you wait for your ID to arrive by mail within the next 60 days. If you haven’t received your card or just want to check the status, you can call the DMV at 1-800-777-0133.
California ID Replacement or Renewal
- Standard ID cards in California will expire after 6 years of obtaining, at which time you must renew. Senior ID cards in California are extended a bit and expire every 10 years.
- If you are ready to renew or if you need replacement of a lost or stolen ID, you will complete the same process that you used to get your initial card, in-person at the local DMV. The fees and paperwork will remain the same for both processes.
If you need more information or need to determine your needs for a new, renewal, or replacement ID in California, you can speak directly to a DMV representative at 1-800-777-0133.