The two-year extension is being given in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 restrictions on the work being done by state driver’s licensing agencies across the country to work through the backlogs created by the pandemic.
The new enforcement deadline for REAL ID is May 7, 2025.
“DHS continues to work closely with U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories to meet REAL ID requirements,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card. DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”
According to the Virginia DMV, 2.8 million Virginians now have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card.
Beginning with the enforcement deadline in 2025, you’ll need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card to be able to board a domestic flight.
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.
“Although the deadline has been extended, we still encourage Virginians interested in REAL ID to apply sooner rather than later. If your driver’s license or ID expires before May 7, 2025, that’s a great time to upgrade,” Acting DMV Commissioner Linda Ford said.
In order to obtain a REAL ID in Virginia, DMV customers must visit a local DMV office in person with certain documents which show proof of:
- Identity and Legal Presence (e.g. unexpired U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate or unexpired permanent resident card)
- Social Security Number (e.g. Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full nine digits). Note: If you’ve lost your Social Security card but know the number, DMV may be able to verify the number electronically
- Residency – two proofs required and must display name and current Virginia residential street address (e.g. recent utility bills, mortgage statements, valid Virginia driver’s license
- Any name changes (e.g. marriage certificates or divorce decrees). Note: If the name on your identity document is different from your legal name, you must show proof of your name change. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once.
There are a variety of acceptable documents; a complete list is available at dmvNOW.com/REALID.
You may also use DMV’s interactive document guide.
For more information, visit dmvNOW.com/REALID.