DMV Issues Three Million REAL IDs

dmvLogoRICHMOND – The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued more than three million REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards.

Beginning May 7, 2025, Virginians who want to board a domestic flight using their driver’s license will have to present a REAL ID compliant version of the credential, displaying a star in the right corner. Several other forms of ID, including a U.S. Passport, a Passport Card, and some military IDs, will also be accepted for federal identification.

“Many Virginians rely on their state-issued credentials for air travel,” said DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey. “If you still need to upgrade to a REAL ID, prepare for your visit now by applying online and gathering the necessary documents. When you arrive at DMV, we will do everything we can to deliver a personalized, positive experience that exceeds your expectations.”

In addition to domestic air travel, a REAL ID will also be required for access to secure federal facilities, including military bases. Virginians who want a REAL ID are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as DMV expects a rush of customers as 2025 nears. Completing your application online at will also walk you through the documents needed for service.

Since REAL ID is optional, many Virginians may decide they don’t want or need one. Those Virginians may continue to use their driver’s license or ID as they always have. The next time they renew their credential, they will receive a license or ID that displays “Federal Limits Apply.” Should they need to board a domestic flight after May 7, 2025, they may use another federally approved form of ID.

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