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Virginian airline passengers have a year to obtain a REAL ID



Richmond, Virginia – The Transportation Security Administration has reminded people of Virginia that shortly, a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license would be required to board an aircraft for a domestic flight. To board an aircraft, attend a secure government institution, or enter a military post, travelers will need to present another form of authorized identification, such as a passport if the license does not comply with REAL ID.

A little star in the top right corner of the REAL ID identification card and driver’s license denotes compliance with federal laws establishing minimal security requirements.

The REAL ID program launches on May 7, 2025.

“REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards,” says Robin “Chuck” Burke, TSA’s Federal Security Director for Richmond International Airport. “The improvements are intended to inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.”

Residents of Virginia have the choice to maintain their outdated standard driver’s license or update to a REAL ID if their licenses do not currently have the star. But according to TSA, a regular credential without the star will not be accepted to enter secure government buildings, such as military bases and some federal offices, or to board a domestic flight.

Virginians must physically visit a local Department of Motor Vehicles office and present appropriate documentation attesting to their citizenship in the United States and their residency in Virginia in order to receive the REAL ID star. A valid driver’s license, if you are applying to exchange one issued by another U.S. state, two evidence of Virginia residency, one proof of identity (passport or U.S. birth certificate), and proof of lawful presence for non-citizens are among the required documents.

Because of a federal law (The REAL ID Act of 2005) that stipulates a REAL ID is required for federal purposes, Transportation Security Administration officers who staff the ticket document checking station at airports will not permit travelers to pass through the checkpoint after May 7, 2025, unless they have a REAL ID-compliant license or another acceptable form of identification.

Burke noted that starting on May 7, 2025, passengers will begin to see new signs at airports across the country reminding them that REAL ID-compliant licenses or other approved forms of ID, including a valid passport, federal government PIV card, or U.S. military ID, will be required for air travel.

“Critically important, on May 7, 2025, individuals who are unable to verify their identity may not be permitted to enter the TSA checkpoint and will not be allowed to fly,” he said.


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