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Federal REAL ID enforcement deadline extended until Oct. 1, 2021

dmv virginiaVirginians interested in obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card now have an additional year to apply before federal identification requirements change at America’s airports.

The federal government has extended the enforcement deadline for REAL ID until Oct. 1, 2021, due to COVID-19 concerns. Many state motor vehicle agencies are currently closed, including the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, or are operating at significantly reduced capacity during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The REAL ID enforcement deadline had been Oct. 1, 2020.

“We applaud the 1.3 million Virginians who were proactive in obtaining their REAL ID,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “But we are grateful that the federal government has extended the deadline for Virginians who still need to get a REAL ID. Because of the current public health emergency, many DMVs across the country simply aren’t able to safely do business right now. As REAL ID requires an in-person visit, customers shouldn’t be put at a disadvantage due to a situation that’s beyond all of our control.”

DMV estimates approximately 1.3 million more Virginians will want to obtain a REAL ID before federal enforcement begins. The new enforcement deadline means that, beginning Oct. 1, 2021, 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 ID-compliant credential, displaying a small star in the upper-right 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.

REAL ID also impacts 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.