Many of you are planning a holiday getaway this weekend to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. Have a fantastic time.
If you are planning to travel via air, please pack your patience and plenty of time to maneuver through the airport because several airlines are experiencing delays and cancellations at this time.
We thought this would be a great time to remind you that beginning May 3, 2023, if you plan to use your state-issued ID or license to fly within the U.S., make sure it is REAL ID compliant.
What is a REAL ID?
Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005. This passage enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver’s licenses.”
The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibited Federal agencies from accepting, for certain purposes, driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. The Act covers the following: accessing Federal facilities, entering nuclear power plants, and boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft.
Every traveler should know that you have until May 2023 to ensure that your driver’s license is compliant. Or, here’s a list of other acceptable forms of identification, such as a valid passport or U.S. military ID you can use to fly within the United States. Travelers who cannot verify their identity will not be allowed to enter the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint and will not be able to fly to Hawaii or California for your long-planned beach vacation. You wouldn’t like getting turned away before you even have a chance to take your shoes off.
What will you need to bring with you to your state driver’s license agency’s office to obtain your REAL ID? Requirements vary by state, so be sure to check the website of the state you live in to save time and stress and guarantee the smoothest application process possible.
Here are a few things you can do in advance to prepare for your appointment at Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicle’s office.
First, you’ll need to prove your full legal name. Be sure to bring along items such as a marriage certificate or divorce decree if your name isn’t the same on all of the necessary proof documents.
You’ll also need proof of your identity, like a birth certificate or a passport. You’ll need proof of your Social Security number. If you don’t have your Social Security card handy, a W-2 form or a payroll check stub from work will do. Proof of residency is also a must. Bring a recent monthly mortgage statement, a bank or credit card statement, or a utility bill.
If you are adequately prepared, it should only take you a few minutes to obtain your REAL ID-compliant driver’s license. However, we recommend you make an appointment to shorten your wait time.