Friday, May 27, 2022

DMV to begin offering REAL ID driver’s licenses

REAL ID compliant driver's licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)
REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses look just like a regular license but have a star on the upper right. (WYDaily photo/Courtesy Virginia DMV)

Virginia residents soon will be able to upgrade their driver’s license to a federally compliant REAL ID, according to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, federal officials will require state-issued driver’s licenses or IDs used to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility to be REAL ID compliant. Several other forms of ID, including a U.S. Passport, passport card and some military IDs, will also be accepted for federal identification in lieu of a REAL ID card.

Current Virginia licenses are good until the new rules go into effect, DMV said.

Under federal law, all Virginians — even those who have been licensed for decades — must visit a DMV office in person to reapply for a REAL ID.

Four documents are required to obtain a REAL ID: A U.S. birth certificate or unexpired U.S. passport or passport card; a Social Security card or payroll check stub; and two utility bills or one utility bill and one mortgage statement or rental agreement or lease.

Applicants whose names are different than those on their birth certificates must also must also bring documents, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, to show the change in name.

“To make your visit as simple as possible, we encourage you to make sure you have the necessary documents in order now,” said DMV CommissionerRichard D. Holcomb. “This will give you plenty of time to obtain extra documents, if necessary, and will ensure that you can successfully complete your application on your first visit. And, those who want to further shorten their trip should consider visiting us in mid-2019 when we expect the initial demand for REAL ID to begin to decrease.”

A REAL ID compliant credential can be used for all of the same purposes as a current driver’s license — including driving, voting and accessing federal benefits. It will be available for a one-time $10 surcharge, in addition to standard fees.

Virginians who don’t want the optional REAL ID can continue to renew their driver’s license or ID as they always have, DMV said. Those with a regular driver’s license can still board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility, but they will have use another approved form of ID. A complete list of acceptable forms of ID is available on the DMV’s website.

REAL ID compliant credentials will be marked with a small star in the upper right corner. Those who opt out of the REAL ID program will receive a driver’s license or ID marked “Federal Limits Apply” in order to comply with federal requirements, DMV said.

Bryan DeVasher
Bryan DeVasher is the managing editor-digital of WYDaily. A resident of Hampton Roads for more than two decades, he has worked for news organizations in Virginia, Illinois, Missouri and Indiana. He most recently was a member of the public relations staff for Virginia State Police.

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