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VIRGINIA: REAL ID DECODED

What is the REAL ID Act?

Beginning October 2018, the new driver’s license and ID card will meet the specific requirements of the federal REAL ID Act, a 2005 law passed by Congress that dictates the issuance process for cards to be accepted as proof of identification for federal purposes. Virginia has committed to REAL ID compliance and has been granted an extension to enable further progress toward implementation. 

What does this mean for Virginians?

We will have the option to upgrade to the REAL ID compliant driver’s license or stick with DMV’s current style of credential. 

  • Your current driver’s license can be used to drive, cash a check or conduct everyday local business. 
  • The new REAL ID compliant driver’s license and identification cards can be used for the above items however beginning October 1, 2020, the federal government will require you to present this upgraded credential or another form of approved id (passport) in order to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities. REAL ID compliant credentials will display a small star in the upper right corner to indicate they meet federal requirements. 

How do I apply for a REAL ID?

The application process is similar to Virginia’s current driver’s license process except additional documents are needed. All applicants for a REAL ID must apply in person, pay a one-time $10 REAL ID surcharge in addition to standards fees, and provide DMV with physical documentation of:

  • Identity (e.g. unexpired passport or U.S. birth certificate)
  • Legal Presence (e.g. unexpired passport of U.S. birth certificate)
  • Social Security Number (e.g. social security card or payroll check stub)
  • Residency (two proofs required)
  • Proof of any name changes

For more information, please go to Virginia DMV. -Rochelle, Oct 2018