In light of a text message phishing scam related to REAL ID, the California DMV recently sent out a reminder that it will never ask customers for personal information related to driver’s license number, Social Security number or financial information via email, text or over the phone.

In a press release issued last month, DMV officials said they have heard from multiple customers who have received a text message stating, “Our records indicate that your contact information must be updated for REAL ID compliance. Provide an up-to-date mailing address and phone number.” When customers click the ‘Continue” button, this message appears: “Action needed: Due to an update on our new regulation complaint, every CaDMV customer must update their contact information. Update now at: (a fictitious link).”

The text message is not from the DMV, according to the release.

“The DMV has not sent such a text, nor would we,” DMV director Steve Gordon said in the release. “We offer secure online services and send text messages for some services, but never ask for personal information outside of a secure DMV account accessed by the customer.”

The DMV does not send customers unsolicited requests for information, the release said. When the DMV texts or emails customers, it is based on action initiated by the customer. For example, customers may receive an appointment reminder or cancellation notice by text or email from the DMV. Also, when a customer establishes an online account with the DMV or has initiated an interactive, assisted online transaction with the agency, further information may be requested.

The department recommends that customers ignore or delete any unsolicited texts or emails requesting personal information on behalf of the DMV. Customers can report the phishing attack to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Anyone who receives a phishing email is encouraged to forward it to the Anti-Phishing Working Group at reportphishing@apwg.org. For a phishing text message, forward it to SPAM (7726).

Starting May 3, 2023, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will require a valid passport or other federally approved document, like a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, to board flights within the U.S. and access secure federal facilities and military bases. Before visiting a DMV office for a new REAL ID, customers should fill out the online application, upload their documents, and bring their confirmation code and documents with them to an office at their convenience, even the same day.

For more information, visit REALID.dmv.ca.gov.