News Releases

CDCR and DMV update state identification card application process for incarcerated people

SACRAMENTO -The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), in collaboration with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), is now offering incarcerated people a streamlined process to apply to receive a California identification (ID) card upon release.

Assisted by trained CDCR staff, people with less than 13 months on their sentence will use an electronic process to submit their application for a replacement state ID card to the DMV. If the applicant does not have a usable photo on file, CDCR staff will use new state-issued tablets to take and submit a new one to the DMV for processing.

“CDCR is committed to helping incarcerated people reentering their community to obtain a CA ID card. Proper identification is necessary to get a job, apply for vital state and federal services, obtain housing and more,” said Division of Rehabilitative Programs Director Brant Choate.

Approved applicants will receive their replacement ID card on their release date.

The new CA ID initiative is in accordance with Senate Bill (SB) 629, which mandates CDCR and the DMV collaborate to ensure a new photograph is taken for every eligible incarcerated person who needs one to receive a state ID from the DMV.

“Giving incarcerated people proper identification as they transition is a critical step toward successful reintegration into society. This streamlined and automated process will help people access essential services and opportunities as they assimilate into their communities,” DMV Director Steve Gordon said.

In 2014, Assembly Bill (AB) 2308 allowed eligible incarcerated persons to receive California IDs if they met criteria of having a photo on file that wasn’t older than 10 years, had previously applied for a state ID, and other requirements. This change will help more incarcerated people by placing fewer restrictions on the process.

This new process will be crucial in bridging gaps and giving all who are released a better chance to get legal identification, which is a necessary step toward their successful reintegration into society.

A man sits at a computer facing an incarcerated person
Correctional Counselor I (CCI) Aaron Castillo helps incarcerated person Perla Vasquez submit the electronic application for a replacement state ID card online.
A woman assisting another woman with a tablet
Because Vazquez did not have a usable photo on file with the DMV, PSA Angelita Rangel takes a new photo using a state-issued tablet.
Two women holding a tablet
Parole Services Associate (PSA), Angelita Rangel assists Vazquez with submitting a photo and fingerprint to the DMV using a state-issued tablet.
A woman taking a photo of another woman
PSA Angelita Rangel assists Vazquez with submitting a photo and fingerprint to the DMV using a state-issued tablet.