The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing optional REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards Monday.
A REAL ID-compliant credential can be used for all of the same purposes as a regular driver’s license, including driving, voting and accessing federal benefits. Beginning October 1, 2020, it will also be able to be used as federal identification, necessary for boarding domestic flights and entering secure federal facilities.
Other accepted forms of federal identification will be a U.S. passport, a passport card and some military IDs.
“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.”
A REAL ID-compliant credential will display a small star in the upper right corner.
To apply for a REAL ID, Virginians will need to bring similar documentation to that needed when applying for a driver’s license: a U.S. birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport; a Social Security card or W-2 form; or a two-month-old or less utility bill and a Virginia driver’s licence, commercial driver’s license, learner’s permit or DMV-issued ID card displaying the applicant’s name and current Virginia residential street address, to name a few options.
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, but should they need to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility after October 2020, they will need to use another federally-approved form of ID.