Virginia Real ID

Virginia Real ID

Real ID by State.

Deciding whether to renew your standard driver’s license or identification card or apply for a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID card?

The following information can help you make the right choice for you. Please read on.

Ready to get your REAL ID? You can visit DMV by appointment Monday through Friday, or stop by at your convenience any day we’re open, to apply in person for a REAL ID. Existing customers can start their application online. Click “Get Started.”

Get Started

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What is Virginia REAL ID?

The REAL ID Act is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be accepted for federal purposes, such as boarding domestic flights or entering secure military installations or federal facilities that require ID.

Beginning May 3, 2023, the federal government will require you to present a REAL ID compliant credential, or another federally approved form of ID, in order to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility.

 Suzy Q & A Explains REAL ID

image of standard license
Standard License

Virginia Real ID 2023 license
Virginia Real ID 2023 license
REAL ID License

REAL ID Is Optional for Virginians

You can get either a REAL ID license or ID or a standard driver’s license or ID. If you choose to stick with a standard license or ID, the next time you renew, it will display “Federal Limits Apply.”

If you do not get a REAL ID, you must have an alternate form of federally accepted identification (valid U. S. passport, U.S. Department of Defense ID, Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), etc.) to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility beginning May 3, 2023.

Here is the full list of federally accepted identification:

  • U.S. passport
  • U.S. passport card
  • DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
  • U.S. Department of Defense ID, including IDs issued to dependents
  • Permanent resident card
  • Border crossing card
  • Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
  • HSPD-12 PIV card
  • Foreign government-issued passport
  • Canadian provincial driver’s license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
  • Transportation Worker Identification Credential
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
  • U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
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Credential Comparison At-a-Glance

Applicable Uses Standard License REAL ID License
Driving Yes Yes
Voting or registering to vote Yes Yes
Verifying identity at banks, utility companies, and retail stores Yes Yes
Applying for or receiving federal benefits Yes Yes
Accessing health or life preserving services Yes Yes
Entering federal facilities requiring ID* No Yes
Accessing military bases* No Yes
Boarding domestic flights beginning May 3, 2023 No Yes

* Secure federal facilities and military bases have the authority to set their own identification requirements. Please verify requirements prior to your visit. Effective immediately, some military bases may no longer accept non-REAL ID compliant credentials, which display “Federal Limits Apply.”

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TSA Prohibited Items

What You Need to Do to Get a REAL ID

All applicants for a REAL ID compliant credential, including current Virginia credential holders, must apply in-person and provide DMV with physical documentation of the applicant’s identity, legal presence, full Social Security number, Virginia residency (two proofs required) and, if applicable, name change.

There are many documents you can provide, so use DMV’s Online Document Guide or View the full document list.

Bring one from this category:

  • e.g., unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate

Bring one from this category:

  • e.g., Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full number; Note: You will not be required to present proof of your Social Security number if you know the number and DMV is able to electronically verify it.

Bring two from this category:

  • e.g., valid Virginia driver’s license, recent utility bills, mortgage statement, or rental lease agreements displaying current residential street address, not a P.O. Box. Note: You may redact (blackout/whiteout) sensitive financial information.

Name changes:

If your name appears differently on your proof documents, you will be asked to present additional documentation to connect the names, such as a marriage certificate filed with a government agency or court, divorce decree, or court order. Note: Marriage licenses, civil union documents, and marriage certificates signed only by the wedding officiant (for example, a member of the clergy) will NOT be accepted. See REAL ID FAQs for more information.

Note: All documents must be originals and will be subject to verification; however, printouts of acceptable online residency documents can be used as proof of residency. Temporary documents and photocopies of documents will not be accepted.

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Virginia DMV does not have a process by which customers can pre-scan and upload REAL ID documents from home. In order to get a REAL ID, you must bring your documents to Virginia DMV for review. Any website claiming to provide this service is not affiliated with Virginia DMV. As such, customers should not submit any images of personal documents to such websites as they will not be transmitted to Virginia DMV and could be used for fraudulent purposes. Customers may fill out a REAL ID application in advance; however, this process will not ask you to scan and upload documents.


Suzy Q & A Explains the Online Document Guide

About Your REAL ID Credential

REAL ID credentials are available for a one-time $10 fee, in addition to the standard driver’s license or identification card fees. For example, a standard driver’s license renewal costs $32, while a standard driver’s license replacement costs $20.

In the upper right corner, REAL ID compliant credentials display a star, while non-REAL ID compliant credentials instead display “Federal Limits Apply,” in order to comply with federal law.

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How to Apply for a REAL ID

You can visit DMV by appointment Monday through Friday, or stop by at your convenience any day we’re open, to apply in person for a REAL ID. Customers can visit any DMV customer service center or take advantage of DMV’s mobile operations to apply.

However, if you are an existing customer and want to upgrade to Virginia REAL ID, you can start your REAL ID application online. This easy and efficient process will also help you select which documents to bring to DMV. Start your application now. You may also download a copy of the application here.

After you’ve received your first REAL ID compliant credential, you may renew online according to the standard schedule.

Are TSA PreCheck® passengers subject to REAL ID requirements?