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Driver's License

California Driver's License and/or ID Card

Federal REAL ID Act

The federal REAL ID Act places new rules on which forms of identification may be used to board flights within the United States (U.S.) and enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, federal courthouses, and other federal facilities.  A California issued REAL ID driver’s license or identification card meets these new requirements and is marked with a golden bear and star. Learn about the REAL ID by clicking here.

Applying for a REAL ID requires proof of identity, proof of California residency, and a trip to DMV. You will be asked to provide your Social Security number on your REAL ID application (exceptions may apply).

California State ID Card

Obtaining a California REAL 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. Learn what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID by clicking here.

California Driver's License

If you wish to drive in the U.S., you should apply for a California driver's license (REAL ID). 

Read some important facts and tips regarding driver's licenses, here. Learn what documentation is required to obtain a REAL ID by clicking here.

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. 

DMV Location and Webpage

Merced Office Address:

1313 W. 12th Street

Merced, CA 95341