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September 4, 2018
Are You Ready for REAL ID? DMV to Offer Optional Upgraded Licenses, IDs Oct. 1
Interested Virginians Encouraged to Make Sure Application Documents in Order

Virginia's REAL ID compliant driver's license or ID will look exactly like a current credential except for a small star in the upper right corner which signifies it meets federal requirements.

RICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) wants to make sure all Virginians who decide to apply for an optional REAL ID compliant Virginia driver's license or ID bring the right documents to DMV.

Beginning October 1, DMV will offer Virginians the option to upgrade their current Virginia driver's license or ID to a REAL ID compliant credential. First-time applicants will also have the choice between a REAL ID compliant or standard credential.

The documents needed to apply for a REAL ID are readily accessible to Virginians and are similar to those needed when many applied for their original Virginia driver's license or 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 their identity, legal presence in the United States and Social Security number, as well as two proofs of residency

If the name listed on your proof of identity document does not match your current full legal name, you must present documents, such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree, that connect the names. Multiple documents may be necessary if your name has changed more than once.

A list of the most commonly used documents is included on the next page. However, there are many other documents you can use. A complete list is available in "Obtaining a Virginia Driver's License or Identification Card" (DMV 141).

The REAL ID compliant credential will be available for a one-time $10 surcharge, in addition to standard fees. It can be used for all of the same purposes as your current driver's license – including driving, voting and accessing federal benefits – but, beginning October 1, 2020, it also can be used as the federal identification which will then be necessary for boarding domestic flights and entering secure federal facilities and military bases. Several other forms of ID, including a U.S. Passport and some military IDs, will also be accepted for federal identification.

Since REAL ID is optional, many Virginians may decide they don't want or need one. Those Virginians may continue to renew their driver's license or ID as they always have. Should they need to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility, they may use another approved form of ID; a full list is available at

REAL ID compliant credentials will be marked with a small star in the upper right corner. If you choose to keep your current style of credential, you will receive a driver's license or ID marked "Federal Limits Apply" when you renew or request a replacement on or after October 1, in order to comply with federal requirements.


Most commonly used documents
A complete list of acceptable documents is available in the brochure
"Obtaining a Virginia Driver's License or Identification Card" (DMV 141).

Proof of Social Security Number

  1. Social Security card (Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers not accepted)
  2. U.S. Internal Revenue Service tax reporting W-2 form
  3. Payroll check stub issued by employer

Primary Proof of Virginia Residency

  1. Deed, mortgage, monthly mortgage statement or residential rental/lease agreement
  2. U.S. Postal Service change of address confirmation form or postmarked U.S. mail with forwarding address label
  3. Utility bill, not more than two months old, issued to the applicant (cell phone bills are not accepted)

Secondary Proof of Virginia Residency

  1. Postmarked mail displaying the applicant's name and current address
  2. Official document or correspondence from a federal, state, or local government agency displaying the applicant's name and current address (DMV-issued documents without postmarked envelope are not accepted)
  3. Billing statement or other official document from a recognizable business displaying the applicant's name and current address

Proof of Identification and Legal Presence – U.S. Citizens

  1. Official birth document issued by a U.S. state, jurisdiction or territory (birth documents issued by a hospital; notifications of birth registration; and Puerto Rico birth certificates issued before July 1, 2010 are not accepted)
  2. Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. passport card (temporary passports are not accepted)
  3. U.S. Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization

Proof of Identification and Legal Presence – Non-U.S. Citizens

  1. Unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired or expired U.S. visa and unexpired I-94 or entry stamp
  2. Unexpired Employment Authorization Document (I-766) AND USCIS form I-797 displaying applicant's name (depending on the nature and purpose of the form, the I-797 may not be accepted)
  3. Unexpired Permanent Resident Card

Proof of Name Change (if applicable)

  1. Marriage certificate (including same-sex marriage certificates) Note: Civil union documents are not accepted
  2. Divorce decree if the decree states the change from married name to maiden name
  3. Court order granting the name change

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Date: September 4, 2018
Contact: Brandy Brubaker
(804) 367-6834