The DMV issues 1 Millon ‘REAL IDs’

The DMV issues 1 Millon ‘REAL IDs’
DMV began issuing REAL IDs on October 1, 2018, two years ahead of the federal enforcement deadline. (Source: DMV)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued more than one million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Beginning October 1, Virginian residents 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.

“We recognize this significant milestone and continue to prepare for the deadline of October 1, 2020, enhancing service to meet growing demand,” said Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentine. “The Commonwealth is committed to ensuring that Virginians are able to conduct their business, live their lives, and keep Virginia moving.”

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.”

Virginia residents who want to obtain a REAL ID are encouraged to obtain theirs as soon as possible.

“The best advice I can give you is to not wait until the last minute to get your REAL ID and to come prepared with the proper documents,” said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “You will save yourself time and possibly a return trip with a little advance planning. January is traditionally a slower month to visit DMV so now is a great time to come in. We’ll be happy to serve you.”

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 renewal or replacement fees, and provide DMV with physical documentation of:

  • Identity and 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 and each must display applicant’s name and current residential street address, no P.O. boxes (e.g. recent utility bills, mortgage statements, valid Virginia driver’s license); 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 Virginia residents 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 credentials, 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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