Virginia residents who want to board an airplane will soon need a star on their driver’s license, indicating that it is a REAL ID credential, or they will need another form of approved identification to board their flight or enter a secure federal facility.
Virginia’s REAL ID driver’s licenses and identification cards have a small star in the upper right corner to indicate that it meets new federal regulations that establish minimum security standards. The upgraded REAL IDs will be required starting Oct. 1, 2020.
A standard credential – without the star – will not be valid to board a flight or to access secure federal facilities, including military bases and some federal offices. The standard credential will display the words “Federal Limits Apply” instead of the REAL ID star. To get the REAL ID star, individuals will need to appear at their local Virginia DMV in person and bring certain documents to prove U.S. citizenship and Virginia residency.
REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards. The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.
For details about how to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card in Virginia, visit dmv.virginia.gov. TSA also provides a short video about flying with a REAL ID at tsa.gov/videos/flying-real-id-0.