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Feds certify Virginia's REAL ID program

STAFF • Dec 27, 2018 at 10:30 PM

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has announced the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has determined Virginia’s REAL ID program is compliant with all federal requirements.

In October, the DMV began issuing driver’s licenses and identification cards in accordance with requirements of the REAL ID Act and regulations. DHS recently informed Virginia the program has satisfied those requirements.

Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, the federal government will require a REAL ID compliant form of identification or other federally approved form of ID, such as a passport, to board a domestic flight or to enter a secure federal facility or military base.

The DMV’s rollout of REAL ID will enable Virginians who fly domestically or need to access secure federal facilities to continue to do so after October 2020 with a Virginia REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID. More than 100,000 Virginians have already obtained a REAL ID since October 2018, the DMV reports.

DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb said the agency is proud to have received federal certification for its new REAL ID program “but our work is not yet done. We estimate that 2.6 million Virginians will visit us in the next two years to obtain a REAL ID. We will be working hard to serve you, but we need your help. Visit our website, and come prepared with the documents you’ll need to have a successful visit.”

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. They include a U.S. birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport, Social Security card or W-2 form, a utility bill not more than two months old, and a Virginia driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, learner’s permit or DMV-issued ID card.

Documents must display the applicant’s name and current Virginia residential street address.

If the name listed on your proof of identity document does not match your current full legal name, you must present documents such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree that connect the names. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once.

There are a variety of acceptable documents. A complete list is available at dmvNOW.com/REALID.

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. The next time they renew their credential, they will receive a license or ID that displays “Federal Limits Apply.”

Should those persons need to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility after October 2020, they may use another federally approved form of ID.

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