QUESTION:  Can you provide any information about the REAL ID Card that we are being told we need to apply for.  I’ve heard all kinds of things but don’t really know why and what I need to do.

  ANSWER:  A very good question.  The information I will give you is provided by the DMV.

  The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 was passed by Congress in response to the events of 9/11.  The U. S. Department of Homeland Security has established the requirements for driver licenses and identification cards to be accepted for federal purposes.  These federal purposes include boarding a domestic flight, visiting a military base or certain federal facilities.

  These rules will go into effect on October 1, 2020.  So there is no immediate need to rush to obtain a REAL ID card.  If your license is expiring before October 1, 2020 you can apply for that card when you renew your license.  If your license is not expiring until after October 1, 2020 you may want to apply for it now.

  The question most people ask, as you have done, is “Do I need one?”  You DO NOT need a REAL ID card to continue to drive, to vote, when applying for or receiving federal benefits such as Social Security or Veterans Benefits, to enter the post office or to visit a hospital.

  You will need, after October 1, 2020, a REAL ID to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility if you do not have a US passport or passport card, military ID or other form of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) approved identification.

  All US citizens and all legal residents of the United States can apply for a REAL ID driver’s license or REAL ID card.

  If you determine that you want to apply for the REAL ID license or card the first step is to make an appointment with the DMV.  You will need to present documents for 1) proof of Identity, 2) proof of Social Security number and 3) proof of California residency.

  For proof of identity you will have to present one of the following: a US birth certificate; an unexpired US passport; an employment authorization document; a permanent resident card or an unexpired foreign passport with an approved form 1-94.  If a name change has occurred such as marriage or adoption then those certificates will also be required.

  For proof of Social Security number you will need your Social Security Card, a W-4 or a paystub with the full Social Security number on it.

  For proof of California residency a utility bill, rental agreement, mortgage bill or a medical document with your name and current address on it.

   All documents must be originals or certified copies.  For the full list of REAL ID document options visit

  The fees for a REAL ID are the same as those currently charged for a driver license or identification card.  A Senior ID card is free for those 62 years of age or older.

  I would encourage everyone to apply for this form of identification.



  SUNDAY – December 1 – 9:00 am to 6:30 pm – Oxnard Christmas Parade & Tamale Festival – at Plaza Park in Oxnard.

  TUESDAY – December 4 – 4:00 to 5:30 pm – Presentation – Path to Positive Aging Series – “Estate Planning 101” – at Senior Concerns Day Care Center, 401 Hodencamp Road in Thousand Oaks.  For reservations call (805) 497-0189.

  WEDNESDAY – December 5 – 1:00 pm – The Thousand Oaks Council on Aging presents  – “Everything You Need to Know About Wills, Living Trusts and other Legal Services”- at the Civic Arts Plaza Board Room, 2100 Thousand Oaks Boulevard in Thousand Oaks.

  THURSDAY/FRIDAY – December 6 – 1:30 to 3:30 pm; December 7 – 7:00 to 9:00 pm – The Simi Valley Performing Arts Group presents – “WHAT! A Town Without Christmas” – at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi in Simi Valley –admission is free and no reservations required.

  FRIDAY – December 7 – 10:00 am to 1:00 pm –“Seniors First Annual Christmas Boutique” – at Palm Vista Senior Center, corner of “C” and 9th Streets in Oxnard.  For information call (805) 385-8163.

  DECEMBER – Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association classes – Wednesday December 5 – 10:30 am to noon at Simi Valley Senior Center, 3900 Avenida Simi; 2:30 to 4:00 pm at Camarillo Community Center, 1605 Burnley Street and Tuesday December 4 – 1:00 to 3:30 pm at Livingston Memorial Community Room, 1996 Eastman Avenue in Ventura.  For information call (805) 642-0239.  No registration needed.


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY: Conejo Senior Volunteer Program (CSVP) is looking for adults age 55 and older to join a team of volunteers that provide free income tax assistance.  Looking for tax preparers and greeters.  Both positions will need to commit to one day a week during the tax season.  Informational meeting scheduled for Tuesday, December 11.  Call (805) 381-2742 to sign up for the meeting.


  Betty Berry is a senior advocate for Senior Concerns.  The advocates are located at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91362 or call (805) 495-6250 or e-mail (please include your telephone number.)  You are invited to submit questions on senior issues.


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