California RealID

Have you gotten your “REAL ID” yet?

Like many states, California residents have the option to get the new REAL ID, which goes into effect later this year. The REAL ID will be used to board a domestic flight within the U.S. and enter secure federal facilities, such as military bases, federal courthouses, and other secure federal locations. If going through the application process is in your near future you better get ready to spend some time searching for documents. Here is the checklist for California: and it requires various sets of documents.  While the first set of documents you need to have one of the originals of, I think everyone should also have digital copies for backup and easy reference purposes for not only themselves but for everyone in their family including small children for those that apply.  Even for children these are often ask for to enroll in youth sports or other programs that require a proof of age and organizations often accept a print out or digital form.

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
  • Original or Certified copy of U.S birth certificate (issued by a city, county, or state vital statistics office). “Abbreviated” or “Abstract” certificates are NOT accepted
  • U.S. Certificate of Birth Abroad or Consular Report of Birth Abroad of U.S. Citizen
  • Unexpired foreign passport with valid U.S. Visa and approved I-94 form
  • Certified copy of birth certificate from a U.S. Territory
  • Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card
  • Valid, unexpired Employment Authorization Document (EAD) Card (I-766) or valid/expired EAD Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C)
  • Valid/expired Permanent Resident Card with Notice of Action (I-797 C) or Approval Notice (I-797)
  • Unexpired foreign passport stamped “Processed for I-551”
  • Documents reflecting TPS benefit eligibility

Another key word that many of these documents have is “UNEXPIRED”.  It is important to track the expiration dates of these documents and renew them ahead of time, and not after they are expired. Therefore it is imperative to have a way to remind yourself before they expire. Users of LifeHound are never caught off guard with an expired document if they pay attention to the reminders it offers.
Here is the next set of documents on the checklist that one is needed:

  • Social security card
  • W-2 form
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) 1099 form
  • Non-SSA-1099 form
  • Pay stub with full SSN

Many people require their social security card for starting a new job to this case of getting a new ID.  Having a copy is important to have as well.  The larger question on this list is how many of you can find last years W-2 form from their employer in under 30 minutes?  While you used it for your taxes last year, did you save it and do you have a scanned copy of your taxes last year as well?  There are all important documents to save away each year.
The final step of the REAL ID process is proof of residency having to produce not just one, but a few items on the list.  Unless someone is really organized, kudos to you if you are, many people are going to spend some time scrambling through old files, and will have a hard time to find many of these items.  These may be even harder to find for a young adult who may only have a few.  A bigger question to ask yourself is if you had scans of these documents where would you store them?  While you could store these own your local hard drive, are they really backed up properly if your house burned down?  You should store them as pictures on your phone, but that does not seem very secure.  You could store them on a service like DropBox, Box, or Google Drive, but those locations could be accidentally shared, are not stored encrypted, and further they can’t remind you that your Rental or lease agreement is coming up for renewal.  This is exactly why LifeHound was designed to store important documents securely and it will remind you of the important future dates associated with them. Here is the list for you to consider capturing and storing properly today:

  • Rental or lease agreement with the signature of the owner/landlord and the tenant/resident
  • Deed or title to residential real property
  • Mortgage bill
  • Home utility bill (including cellular phone)
  • School documents issued by a public or private primary, secondary, or post-secondary institution, college, or university that includes the applicant’s date of birth. If using a foreign school document, it must be sealed by the school and include a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued.
  • Medical documents
  • Employment documents
  • Insurance documents, including medical, dental, vision, life, home, rental or vehicle
  • Tax return (either Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or California Franchise Tax Board (FTB)
  • Change of Address Confirmation by the U.S. Postal Service
  • Property tax bill or statement
  • Faith-based document that includes the name and address of organization
  • Records from any state or national bank, state or federal savings association, trust company, industrial loan company, state or federal credit union, or any institution or entity that has issued a credit card
  • Voter registration confirmation letter or postcard issued by the California Secretary of State or a local California county elections officer
  • Proof of payment of resident tuition at a public institution of higher education in California
  • An original copy of an approved Claim for Homeowners’ Property Tax Exemption (BOE-266) form filed with a local California County Assessor
  • Court documents that list the applicant as a resident of California
  • Letter attesting that the applicant resides in California from a homeless shelter, shelter for abused women, non-profit entity, faith-based organization, employer or government agency within the United States
  • A document issued by a U.S. government agency, meaning the entity, office, or authority governing over a country, state, county, city, municipality, district, agency, department, or any other political subdivision of a country or state
  • California Certificate of Vehicle or Vessel Titles or registration
  • A DMV No Fee Identification Card Eligibility Verification (DL 933) form, completed and signed

After you have gone document hunting and find these documents, please take the time to take a scan or picture of the documents and get them uploaded to your LifeHound account today.