STERLING, Va. – This month marks the one-year countdown until all travelers will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or other acceptable form of ID if they want to fly domestically starting October 2020.
Now is the perfect time for Virginia residents to get a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card because beginning October 1, 2020, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID-compliant credential or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. Virginia REAL ID-compliant cards are marked with a star in the upper right-hand portion of the card.
“In collaboration with state motor vehicle agencies, the Transportation Security Administration is working diligently to inform travelers about this important change in federal identification requirements,” said Scott T. Johnson, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Dulles International Airport. "However, there are still many travelers who’ll need a REAL ID but haven’t yet gotten one. The one-year countdown has begun and we urge travelers to get a REAL ID or another form of acceptable ID now.”
“Although REAL ID is optional in Virginia, we know that a lot of Virginians rely on their state-issued identification to travel and will want to obtain a REAL ID between now and October 2020,” said Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. “Coming to DMV sooner rather than later with the right documents is the most important step in the process. Prepare yourself by visiting dmvNOW.com/REALID prior to your visit and you’ll have a successful trip to DMV.”
Virginia residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant license or stick with a standard driver’s license when they get a new license at a Virginia DMV office. There is a one-time $10 REAL ID surcharge in addition to standard fees to get the new license. However, a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices. The standard credential displays the words “Federal Limits Apply” instead of the REAL ID star.
To get a REAL ID-compliant credential, individuals will need to appear at their local DMV in person and bring certain documents to prove legal presence in the U.S. and Virginia residency. Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of Virginia residency, one proof of your social security number (if you’ve been issued one) and a current driver’s license if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state. Proof of name change may also be required, if applicable. A list of most commonly used documents is available online.
TSA officers who staff the ticket document checking station at airports will not allow travelers into the checkpoint without a REAL ID-compliant license or another form of acceptable ID after October 1, 2020, because of a federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005) that mandates that a REAL ID-compliant credential is needed for federal purposes.
TSA has posted new signs at airports nationwide to remind people that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other acceptable forms of ID, such as a valid passport, federal government PIV card or U.S. military ID, will be mandatory for air travel beginning on October 1, 2020. Critically important, on October 1, 2020, individuals who are unable to verify their identity will not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly. TSA officers will be providing verbal advisements to passengers to remind them about REAL ID.
For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles web site.
TSA also has a one-minute video that provides information about flying with a REAL ID-compliant license.