Virginia DMV starts rollout of ‘Real IDs,’ but do you need one?


CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia’s DMV is rolling out new IDs that comply with federal law.

On October 1, the commonwealth started issuing “Real IDs” to residents and more than 3,800 Virginians have already applied, according to the DMV.

“Beginning October 1st, 2020, in order to board a flight in the US or enter a secure federal facility or military base, you’ll need to have a driver’s license or ID that is ‘Real ID’ compliant,” said Brandy Brubaker, a DMV spokesperson.

Congress passed the “Real ID Act” in 2005 after the 9/11 Commission made recommendations to the Federal Government to establish “minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.”

Federal agencies will not be allowed to accept for official purposes licenses and ID cards from states that do not meet their standards, according to the Department of Homeland Security’s website.

Brubaker said the ID is optional and it is up to the resident to decide if they need one.

“If you’re someone who’s a frequent flyer, it’s probably something good to have. If you prefer to travel by car or train, you might not need it. If you’re coming to the DMV anyway, it might be good because you never know when you’ll need it,” she said.

If you do not have a Real ID by October, 2020, other forms of federal issued IDs will be accepted such as military ids, passports,and EDLs.

The cost of a Real ID is a one-time $10 surcharge in addition to standard fees and the application process is similar to Virginia’s current driver’s license/ID card application.

Residents are not required to have the new ID to vote or register to vote.

The ID also does not apply to entering federal facilities that require ID presentation, such as museums, applying for federal benefits, accessing health services, law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities, such as court proceeding, or participating in law enforcement proceedings and investigations.

To learn more about the documents needed, visit

Brubaker recommends not waiting until 2020 to get your ID.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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