California Driver's License and/or ID Card
California State ID Card
Obtaining a California ID card is suggested while in the U.S. This card will provide you with sufficient proof of identity throughout your stay in the United States. By having an official U.S. identification card, you will not have to carry your passport around with you all the time.
The ID card is accepted at banks, stores, airports and other businesses where name and age identification is required. You do not need to pass a driving test to receive this identification card. You can get a California ID from the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – the same place that you would get a driver’s license.
California Driver's License
If you wish to drive in the U.S., you should apply for a California driver's license. The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver's license. Per Vehicle Code Section 12505 on Residency, California recognizes a valid driver's license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident; however, not all officers can verify your drivers license from another country is valid so you could be issued a ticket. You can go to court to resolve this matter. It is best to get a California license if you intend on driving to avoid any confusion or problems. Most insurance companies also require a California driver's license. It is a California state law to maintain vehicle insurance.
Read some important facts and tips regarding driver's licenses, here.
California REAL ID
Effective October 1, 2020, you must have a California REAL ID. Federal authorities will not accept non-REAL ID cards as valid identification. Apply for, or replace your California ID card or driver's licence with the California REAL ID at the DMV. Learn what additional documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID by clicking here.
DMV Location and Webpage
Merced Office Address:
1313 W. 12th Street
Merced, CA 95341