California Driver's License

Discovering the loss of your California driver’s license can be distressing, but there’s no need to panic. The state offers a straightforward process for obtaining a replacement.  

Application for a Replacement Driver’s License

Head to the official CA DMV website and complete the application for a replacement driver’s license. This same application is applicable for obtaining a new government identification card. Minors must have the signature of a parent or guardian. Alternatively, visit a physical DMV location to fill out the DL 44/EDL 44 form if you prefer not to apply online.

How They’ll Know It’s Really You

If upgrading to a REAL ID, prove your identity by submitting your Social Security number, two documents as proof of California residency, and an acceptable identity document (e.g.passport, birth certificate).

Who You’ll Need to See and What to Bring

 Head to your nearest CA DMV, either by walking in or scheduling an appointment. During your visit:

– Pay the replacement fee of $30 (as of 2021).

– Validate your photograph.

– Provide a thumbprint scan.

– Submit proof documents if upgrading to a REAL ID.

After completing these steps, you will receive a temporary replacement driver’s license valid for sixty days. It serves as proof while awaiting the permanent replacement, which should arrive within four to six weeks. If not, contact 1-800-777-0133 for assistance.

Can You Drive Without a Physical License?

In California, driving without a physical license is illegal and may result in misdemeanor charges and fines, according to California Vehicle Code Section §12500. While consequences are less severe than driving without any license, it’s crucial to obtain a temporary license promptly. If driving is necessary before receiving the replacement, carrying your driving record might improve your situation if pulled over. Whenever possible, seek a ride from a licensed driver until the interim license arrives.