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DMV Having Issues Verifying Documents for Those Seeking the new “Real IDs”

SACRAMENTO -- By October 2020, you will no longer be able to fly domestically with your California driver’s license… unless you have a “real ID.”

While many are able to get the new California IDs, some say the DMV’s verification machines are not accepting newer passports leaving many frustrated.

FOX40 has gotten a few reports from viewers that even though they have the right documents for a Real ID, DMV employees are saying their machines, which verify those documents, are not always working.

The DMV is a place no one really wants to go to.

“This is like hotel California, you see people going in, you don’t see them coming out!,” exclaimed Asha George a DMV patron trying to get a Real ID.

Asha George is one of hundreds who came to the DMV on Broadway in Sacramento Friday.

George lost her wallet, so she went “to get [her] driver’s license. I thought, I’ll get my Real ID while I’m at it.”

A Real ID is a new type of driver’s license, which all Californians will need to fly domestic by October 1st 2020 per new federal requirements.

To get one, you need more documents than you would for a typical driver’s license.

“I bring my passport, my social security card and one of my utilities bills, like my phone bill,” said Mike Tang.

The problem is, at several Sacramento area DMV locations, people have reported to FOX40 the machines used to verify those documents sometimes do not accept newer passports.

Viewers tell us the issue has happened at the Broadway and Roseville locations.

When that happens, DMV employees are suggesting customers just go to another location.

“What?! That’s ridiculous,” said George.

With long wait times, many, like Luke Paterson are opting to skip getting a Real ID for an ID with federal limits, for now.

“You know, I already waited an hour just to get to the point where I found out I didn’t have the proper paper work so...,” said Paterson.

The DMV tells FOX40 it is looking into the issue with the machines and real IDs won’t be required to fly for another two years.

“I mean, I do have a passport already, so I mean, I will be able to fly with that still but that is inconvenient for sure,” stated Paterson.

If a passport doesn’t work with their machines, the DMV says you can use your birth certificate instead.

The DMV tells FOX40 the machines don’t have to verify the passports in order to send in an application for a Real ID but without it, it does take several weeks longer to be approved.

DMV says they are open some Saturdays to help alleviate some of the wait times. Use the link here to check to see if your local field office is open on Saturday.