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California DMV issued 2.3 million Real ID cards that don't meet federal standards

Did you wait in line at the DMV to get a new, federally compliant Real ID? Well, there's some bad news. Your work may not be done.

The Department of Homeland Security has informed the California DMV that the process by which they've been issuing the new ID cards doesn't meet the federal government's standards. Instead of requiring two documents to prove residency, the DMV was only asking for one document from Real ID applicants. The department would then mail the ID card to the applicant's address, which they believed constituted a second method of verifying the person's residency.

The federal government is requiring all states to upgrade to the so-called Real ID cards, which are harder to forge, and will be needed to board airplanes or enter federal buildings by October 2020. The security enhancements were implemented after 9/11.

California already has issued 2.3 million cards. All of those ID cards will still work as a form of federal identification for now. However, when they are up for renewal in five years, those who were issued a card using the old, insufficient verification method will have to provide a second piece of residency proof.

The DMV is working on creating a way for people to submit proof of residency documents online or by mail, DMV spokesperson Armando Botello told the Sacramento Bee.

Botello said the Department of Homeland Security originally approved the California DMV's process last year, but recently decided to pull back that approval. It told the DMV in November that was no longer acceptable and two documents proving residency are required.

The change requiring two documents proving residency will be implemented starting in spring 2019.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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