What is the cost to renew a driver's license in California?

I was applying for a credit card the other day and I noticed that my California driver’s license is almost set to expire. I moved to the state about four years ago, so I’ve never had to renew my license before. How much does it cost to renew a driver’s license in California?

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Answer provided by
Eric Schad
Answered on May 05, 2022
Since driver’s licenses in California expire after five years, it’s right about time to renew. The cost to renew a driver’s license in California is $39, regardless of whether you want a standard driver’s license or a REAL ID-compliant license.
If you’re unaware, the federal government is going to require a REAL ID to board any domestic flights starting on May 3, 2023. Since it’s the same price as a standard driver’s license, you may as well apply for a REAL ID if you plan to board a flight in the next five years. Fortunately, California is one of only a few states that allows you to apply for a REAL ID online the very first time.
If you want to renew your California driver’s license, you can apply in person or online. Due to the heavy volume of people at the DMV, California strongly suggests applying online. To do so, go to either one of these websites:
  • For a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, go here.
  • For a standard California driver’s license, visit this website and create an account.
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