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DMV, TSA encourages Virginians to get REAL ID soon rather than later

Posted at 2:33 PM, Dec 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-03 14:34:46-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Transportation Security Administration and the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles are reminding Virginians to get a REAL ID, sooner rather than later.

Beginning October 1, 2020, Virginia residents who want to board an airplane will need a REAL ID or will need another form of approved identification to board their flight or enter a secure federal facility.

Virginia’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets new federal regulations that establish minimum security standards.

As the deadline approaches, the Virginia DMV has increased staffing.

“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.

Holcomb recommends that customers prepare themselves by visiting the DMV website prior to their visit.

“Now is the perfect time…” 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.”

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 DMV.

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 will display the words “Federal Limits Apply” instead of the REAL ID star.

There is a one-time $10 REAL ID surcharge in addition to standard fees to get the new license.

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.

To spread the word, TSA has posted 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 starting October 2020.

For more information and details about how to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card in Virginia, visit the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles web site.