Virginia will soon offer new ID cards to comply with national security guidelines

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia will soon offer new ID cards that are compliant with national security guidelines.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security will require all Americans to use a federally approved credential to board domestic flights in the United States and to gain access to federal facilities that require identification. The guidelines are part of the REAL ID Act of 2005.

Sample of existing Virginia driver’s license

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is developing new REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards that will be available to customers beginning in October 1, 2018.

Since the government will not be enforcing the travel ID card restrictions until 2020, that leaves a two-year span to upgrade or renew your driver’s license in order to receive the new REAL ID compliant license.

Those who still do not have a REAL ID compliant license by October 1, 2020 will still be allowed to travel by air, but must show a U.S. passport or Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to board a plane, even on domestic flights.

The new Virginia IDs 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 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

“DHS has acknowledged Virginia’s commitment and recently indicated an intent to grant Virginia an extension for compliance until at least October,” Commissioner Holcomb said. “We are confident DHS will grant us further extensions to enable us to fully implement these new credentials without impacting Virginians who need identification to fly or do business.”

In October, as Virginia demonstrates further progress toward compliance, DHS will evaluate whether to issue another extension until Virginia begins issuing the new cards in October 2018.