Monday: Virginia DMV now offering federally-compliant REAL ID

New ID cards are compliant with federal air travel requirements for boarding domestic flights and entering military bases

REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (Southside Daily Photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)
REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (Southside Daily Photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)

The time to upgrade to a federally-compliant identification card starts now.

Beginning Monday, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will offer REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards, according to a news release from the DMV.

The ID cards are compliant with federal air travel requirements for boarding domestic flights, as well as entering secure federal facilities and military bases.

Those regulations will go into effect Oct. 2, 2020.

“DMV is now offering optional REAL ID compliant credentials so that Virginians who rely on their state-issued driver’s license or identification card to board domestic flights or enter secure federal facilities or military bases won’t be inconvenienced by the change in federal ID requirements beginning in October 2020,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Because you don’t need a REAL ID for two more years, we hope customers will visit DMV when it is time to renew their current credential or at another time that’s convenient to them in the next two years.”

The credentials can also be used for all the same purposes as a current driver’s license, such as driving, voting and accessing federal benefits.

When applying for a REAL ID, the applicant should have a U.S. birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport or passport card; a Social Security card or payroll check stub; and two utility bills or one utility bill and one mortgage statement or rental agreement or lease, according to the DMV.

Applicants whose names are different than those on their birth certificates must also bring documents such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree to show the name change.

The REAL ID will be available for a one-time $10 surcharge, in addition to standard fees.

If Virginians have not upgraded to a REAL ID within the next two years, they will need to use another federally-compliant form of identification, such as a passport, passport card or some military IDs.

The REAL ID is optional, so Virginia residents can continue to use their driver’s license or ID as-is. When those residents renew their identification, they will receive a card reading “Federal Limits Apply.”

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