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DHS Requirements For CA DMV's 'REAL IDs' May Extend Wait Times

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5/AP) — A new mandate by the U.S. government could force millions of Californians to spend more time in line at the DMV.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in order for people to obtain the new REAL ID cards, applicants will have to show two proofs of residency at the DMV office.

The so-called Real ID cards will be needed to board airplanes or enter federal buildings by October 2020 under security enhancements following 9/11. California already has issued 2.3 million cards.

According to emails provided to KPIX 5 by the DMV, Federal Homeland Security officials approved a procedure in California earlier this year that allowed folks to show one proof of residency at the D-M-V office and a second proof would occur when an applicant received a REAL ID in the mail at that same address.

"The practice of using the mailing of all products with return service requested as the second proof of principal address is acceptable," reads a June 6, 2017 email from Steve Yonkers of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to Jean Shiomoto, the director of the California DMV.

Department of Motor Vehicles spokesman Jaime Garza said Homeland Security officials changed their minds in November, now requiring two proofs of residency to be shown at the DMV office.

"So in other words, the method by which we have been collecting two proofs of residency was approved by the [U.S.] Department of Homeland Security and we were following those guidelines," Garza said. "That's changed a bit."

Garza said IDs already issued will remain valid and changes will apply going forward. Some are already making the change.

"I had just gotten my driver's license renewed about 3 weeks ago, but I didn't have the extra documents for this new upgraded REAL ID," said George Janku of San Francisco. "So I came back in here just to furnish those documents and that took the better part of 3 hours."

Click the links below to read the full statement from the DMV and the letter from the Department of Homeland Security.


© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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