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June 15, 2017
Virginia Granted Extension to Continue Work Toward REAL ID Compliance Licenses and ID Cards Remain Valid for Federal Facility Access, Military Bases

RICHMOND – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Virginia’s request for additional time to continue work toward REAL ID compliance. As such, Virginians may continue to use their state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards to access secure federal facilities and military bases and to board domestic flights.

Virginia will become fully REAL ID compliant by October 2018 and will begin offering REAL ID approved driver’s licenses and ID cards at that time. These credentials will be optional for Virginians to obtain. Beginning in October 2020, Americans will need to use a federally approved credential – such as the REAL ID credential Virginia is developing – in order to board domestic flights in the United States.

Earlier enforcement deadlines for access to secure federal facilities and military bases begin July 10, 2017; however, since Virginia has a compliance extension, Virginians who need to access these facilities will not be impacted. Virginia’s current extension is good until at least October 2017. In the fall, Virginia will apply for and expects to receive another extension to enable it to become fully REAL ID compliant in October 2018.

“Since 2009, Virginia’s driver’s licenses and ID cards have incorporated the advanced security features mandated by REAL ID. We just have a few remaining administrative requirements to implement over the next 18 months,” said Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. “Since we are moving full steam ahead and will continue to demonstrate great progress, we are confident that DHS will grant us enough time to enable us to fully implement REAL ID in Virginia in October 2018.”

The new credential will meet the specific requirements of the federal REAL ID Act, a 2005 law passed by Congress that dictates the issuance process for cards to be accepted as identification for federal purposes. DHS has set certain deadlines for states to show progress toward meeting the federal requirements. Once a state demonstrates progress toward meeting the additional requirements, DHS evaluates whether to grant extensions to the enforcement deadlines.

For more information about Virginia’s plans to comply with REAL ID, visit the DMV website.


Date: June 15, 2017
Contact: Brandy Brubaker
(804) 367-6834