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Homeland Security Says DMV Did Not Comply With REAL ID Regulations, 2.3M IDs Already Issued

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The California Department of Motor Vehicles will now require people to provide two residency documents when applying for the REAL ID. This comes after the DMV received a letter from the Department of Homeland Security saying California's process for proving residency did not align with REAL ID regulation.

California REAL IDs have been available since Jan. 22, 2018, and the department said they have already issued 2.3 million IDs. Now, in an effort to comply with REAL ID regulations, the California DMV will require applicants to provide two residency documents when signing up for the ID.

Additionally, for the 2.3 million Californians who have already received their REAL ID, the DMV said they will have to provide a second residency document when their ID is up for renewal in the next five years.

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Previously the DMV only required one residency document and the United States mail return service when issuing a REAL ID. This practice was already adopted in Wisconsin, a state the DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said is currently in compliance with the REAL ID Act by the DHS.

In a letter from Shiomoto to the DHS, she also noted that the DHS approved the DMV's practice of mailing DL/ID cards with return service requested as the second proof of residency via email.

Starting in April 2019, Californians will have to provide a second proof of address when applying for the REAL ID. And starting in the spring of 2019, they will begin collecting the second proof of residency from the 2.3 million people who have already received a REAL ID.

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In a statement, the DMV assured that the REAL ID cards already issued are still valid and will be valid even if their renewal happens after the Oct. 1, 2020 enforcement deadline for the REAL ID.

"Californians who got their REAL IDs using just one residency document will need to provide a second document when their driver license or identification card comes up for renewal in five years. The DMV is working to let those people submit their residency document online or by mail," DMV Public Information Officer Marty Greenstein said.

In the letter, Shiomoto said the DMV has discussed their new process for verifying residency with the DHS on Nov. 28, 2018, and has come to an understanding that the approach is acceptable.

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