You have one year to get your REAL ID. Officials warn don't delay: 'It's going to get worse'

Posted at 5:18 PM, May 07, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-07 17:18:30-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- On May 7, 2025, travelers will need a REAL ID to board a domestic flight in the United States.

Travelers without a REAL ID would need another form of government ID, like a passport, to fly.

REAL IDs look similar to a standard driver's license, but officials said it comes with improved security.

"There's a higher threshold of requirements that you need in order to prove who you are, from the documents that you need. So that builds a higher level of confidence for TSA, that you are who you say you are with your ID," Richard Hartman, with the TSA in Richmond, said.

The process to get a REAL ID starts online before setting up an appointment at the DMV.

"Right now about 50% of Virginians who have an ID it is a real ID, that's about 3.5 million people in the Commonwealth," Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Gerald Lackey said. "It's human behavior that we're seeing in the service centers right now going up by one to 3,000 people per day. We know it's going to get worse."

Officials encourage everyone to start the process online. Then carve out about 30 minutes to finish the process in-person at the DMV. It takes about 10 business days for the ID to arrive once processed.

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