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DMV: 500K Virginians sign up for REAL ID licenses

dmv virginiaThe Virginia DMV has issued more than a half-million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Beginning October 1, 2020, Virginians who want to use their state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board a domestic flight will have to present a REAL IDcompliant credential, displaying a small star in the upperright corner, when passing through Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screenings. Several other forms of ID, including a U.S. Passport, a Passport Card, and some military IDs, will also be accepted for federal identification.

“A REAL ID will be essential for domestic air travel when federal identification requirements change a little more than a year from now,” Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine said. “More than a half-million Virginians now have the identification they’ll need to continue traveling after October 1, 2020.”

DMV began issuing REAL IDs on October 1, 2018, two years ahead of the federal enforcement deadline. In addition to domestic air travel, REAL ID also affects access to secure federal facilities and military bases. Because these facilities have the ability to set their own entry requirements, DMV advises Virginians to verify the identification needed for access prior to their visit. Effective immediately, some military bases may no longer accept non-REAL-ID-compliant credentials displaying “Federal Limits Apply.”

Virginians who want to obtain a REAL ID are encouraged to obtain theirs this year, as DMV expects a rush of customers in 2020 as the federal enforcement deadline looms.

“If you want to get a REAL ID, we encourage you not to wait,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Our offices will be extremely busy next year with customers who have waited until the last minute to upgrade to a REAL ID. Save yourself some time and get your REAL ID this fall, when we expect our offices to be less busy.”

The documents needed to apply for a REAL ID are similar to those needed when individuals applied for their original Virginia driver’s license or ID. All applicants for a REAL ID-compliant credential, including current Virginia credential holders, must apply in person, pay a one-time $10 REAL ID surcharge in addition to standard fees, and provide DMV with physical documentation of:  Identity (e.g. Unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate);

  • Legal Presence (e.g. Unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate);
  • Social Security Number (e.g. Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full nine digits);
  • Residency – two proofs required (e.g. utility bills, mortgage statements, Virginia driver’s license displaying current Virginia residential street address); and
  • Proof of any name changes (e.g. marriage certificates or divorce decrees). Note: If the name on your identity document is different than your legal name, you must show proof of your name change. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once.

A complete list of acceptable documents is available at All documents must be originals; however, print-outs of online residency documents that are listed on DMV 141 are acceptable as proof of residency. Temporary documents and photocopies of documents will not be accepted.

Since REAL ID is optional, many Virginians may decide they don’t want or need one. Those Virginians may continue to use their driver’s license or ID as they always have. The next time they renew their credential, they will receive a license or ID that displays “Federal Limits Apply.” Should they need to board a domestic flight after October 2020, they may use another federally approved form of ID.

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augusta free press
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