RICHMOND — Virginia residents who want to board an airplane for a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility will soon need a star on their driver’s license, indicating that it is REAL ID-compliant, or they will need another form of federally approved identification. REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards from the Commonwealth of Virginia have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate the credentials are acceptable for these federal purposes.
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.
“We’ve added staff, expanded our mobile operations and renovated our offices to better serve Virginians,” said Richard D. Holcomb, Commissioner of the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. “Because REAL ID is optional in the Commonwealth, you get to decide if it is right for you. But, if you want to get a REAL ID, don’t wait until the last minute. December is a great time to visit Virginia DMV. Prepare yourself by visiting dmvNOW.com/REALID prior to your visit and you’ll have a successful trip to DMV.”
“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,” said Chuck Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Central and Southern Virginia. “While you’re out there purchasing holiday gifts for others, remember that this is an ideal time to get yourself a gift—get your REAL ID.”
Residents of Virginia 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 Virginia DMV. But it is important to keep in mind that a standard credential—without the star—will not be valid to board a flight or to access secure federal facilities as of October 2020. In fact, some military bases are already not accepting non-compliant credentials displaying “Federal Limits Apply.”
To get the REAL ID-compliant license, individuals will need to appear at their local department of motor vehicles in person and bring certain documents to prove legal presence in the U.S. and state residency. Required documents include one proof of identity, one proof of legal presence, two proofs of residency in their jurisdiction, one proof of Social Security number, and a current driver’s license if they are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state. Proof of name change may also be required, if applicable. Visit your state’s motor vehicle agency for a complete list of acceptable documents.
Transportation Security Administration 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 starting October 2020, because of a federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005). The Act established requirements for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting, for official purposes, licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet the requirements.
TSA has signs posted 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 starting October 2020. Critically important, 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 also are providing verbal advisements to passengers to remind them about REAL ID prior to next year’s deadline.
For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, visit your state’s department of motor vehicles website.
TSA also has a one-minute video that provides information about flying with a REAL ID.