As of January 4, 2011, California residents can renew their identification card via the U.S. Postal Service. Residents with a current California identification card will receive a renewal notice in the mail before the card expiration date. Mail the remittance stub with the appropriate renewal fee of $26. Applicants applying for their first California identification card must apply in person at the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A regular identification card remains valid for six years. Identification cards for seniors at least 62 years of age are valid for 10 years.
Contact your local DMV office to make an appointment. (See Resources) You may apply for an identification card as a walk in, but the DMV advises applicants to make an appointment to avoid long waits.
Complete the Driver License or Identification Card Application DL 44. According to the DMV, the application is not provided via the Internet due to requirement of an original signature and a bar code that must be entered by a DMV employee. You may get an application by contacting the DMV automated line which operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Provide a thumbprint and take a photograph for the identification card.
Supply your Social Security number. All applicants must supply a Social Security number. Applicants ineligible for a Social Security number, but legally in the United States are the exception to the rule. Applicants fitting these criteria must supply valid proof of birth and legal residency. You do not need to provide your Social Security number if applying for a renewal identification card.
Provide verification of your birth date and citizenship. Acceptable documents include a birth certificate, passport or permanent resident card.
Pay the identification card application fee. As of January 2011, the fee for an original, renewal or duplicate identification card is $26. A reduced-fee identification card cost $7, and there is no fee for a senior citizen identification card as of January 2011.
Wait 60 days for your identification card to arrive in the mail. If you have not received your identification card within the 60-day time frame, contact the California DMV.