With less than one year before identification requirements change at America’s airports, more than 2.5 million Virginians already have obtained a REAL ID compliant credential at the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), staff officials announced.
If current plans hold, beginning next May, travelers who wish to board a domestic flight in the U.S. must present a REAL ID compliant state-issued driver’s license or identification card, or another form of federally accepted identification, such as a U.S. passport. The same identification can be used to enter many secure federal facilities.
“We are very proud of the hard work our customer-service team has dedicated to inform as many Virginians as possible about the benefits of REAL ID,” said Virginia’s acting DMV commissioner, Linda Ford.“We’ve served millions of customers, but we estimate there may be tens of thousands out there who have waited to apply.”
Ford recently visited Richmond International Airport with Chuck Burke, a regional federal security director for the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, to tout the importance of not waiting to get the credentials.
“Summer is the perfect time for Virginia residents to get a REAL-ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card,” Burke said.
The federal government initially had set a deadline of the fall of 2020 for implementation of the REAL ID requirements, but then pushed that back owing to COVID.
Obtaining a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state identification card requires making an in-person visit to DMV offices, although some of the prepatory work can be completed online, as well as providing specific paperwork to provide identity. Information can be found at dmvnow.com/realid.
“Federal requirements outline which documents are necessary, but, for most folks, they are pretty easy to gather,” DMV officials said.
Those with valid U.S. passports, or those who don’t fly or need access to federal buildings, may not need REAL-ID-compliant identification.