RICHMOND, Va. -- By this time next year, you will need a new REAL ID in order to board an airplane. The REAL ID requirement, delayed several times by the pandemic, will officially go into effect in May 2023.
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.
If you have not yet upgraded to the REAL ID, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will not allow you on a plane with your regular driver's license.
"It will no longer be accepted if it's not a REAL ID-compliant driver's license," Linda Ford, Acting Commissioner of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, said.
The REAL ID will also be needed to enter some federal facilities.
If you don't have one on May 3, 2023, you'll need another form of federal ID, like a passport, to get on a plane.
"A lot of people don't want to carry around a passport," Ford said. "They always have their driver's license with them, so it's just easier to have."
You can upgrade to a REAL ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
While you can start the application online, you will have to go in-person to finish the process and provide several documents.
"You have to prove your identity," Ford said. "You have to prove your legal presence, you have to prove your social security number, and you have to bring in two forms of residency proof."
This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email firstname.lastname@example.org to send a tip.