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Virginia's Secure Driver's License and ID Cards

DMV no longer issues driver's licenses and ID cards in DMV customer service centers. Customers receive new secure licenses and ID cards by mail.

The New Process

To enhance security and reduce risks for fraud, DMV changed the method of issuing driver's licenses and identification cards from an over-the-counter process to issuance from a secure, central location.

You will not receive your new driver's license or ID card during your DMV visit. Driver's license applicants will be given temporary driving permits that cannot be used for identification purposes. ID card applicants will be given a receipt. You will receive your new driver's license or ID card in the mail.

Customers renewing Virginia driver's licenses or ID cards can keep your old license or ID card to carry with the temporary driving permit or receipt, until you receive your new license or ID card in the mail.

Your new driver's license or ID card will be produced within three days and mailed to you. Mail delivery times vary. Please allow up to 15 days to receive your new credential.

The new central issue process is similar to the one DMV customers use for Internet transactions. Online customers conduct a transaction, print a receipt and receive the desired product through the mail. During Fiscal Year 2008, approximately 225,000 Virginians renewed licenses using a DMV preferred service (Internet, mail, telephone) and received their licenses in the mail.

Fifteen U.S. states issue driver's licenses and ID cards through a centralized process including Alabama, California, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. The new process enhances security, lowers the risks of fraud and decreases the use of false addresses. It eliminates the appeal for out-of-state residents to illegally attempt to obtain Virginia licenses that were issued on the spot.

Update Your Address

To maintain the security of these important credentials, the process by which Virginians get driver's licenses and ID cards is similar to the U. S. Passport process, through which applicants receive their credential through the mail.

Whether you renew your Virginia driver's license or ID card by Internet, mail, telephone or in-person at a DMV customer service center, you will receive your new card in the mail.

If you have moved without notifying DMV, you will not receive your new card. It will not be forwarded by the postal service. Virginia law requires you to make sure your mailing address is correct on your DMV record. Update your address information with DMV today!

New Secure Cards

When you receive your new driver's license or ID card in the mail, it will have a new look and feel with state-of-the-art security features. The cards are made of polycarbonate materials.

Security printing covers the new licenses and ID cards. Fine lines, variable patterns, micro-lettering, and overlapping data cannot be reproduced with desktop printers.

Data is laser engraved into the body of the card, rather than printed on the surface.

Unlike color photographs that rest on the surface of a card, the black and white customer photograph is embedded into the card body. In addition, a clear window on the card contains a second laser engraved black and white photograph of the customer, visible from the front and back of the card.

Both clear and black raised lettering engraved into the card can be felt on the surface of the card.

All Virginia driver's licenses and ID cards are produced in a secure facility located in Danville, Virginia. The facility is comparable to a credit card production center with a high level of security and restricted access.

Sophisticated equipment in a centralized environment produces credentials with technologically advanced security features greater than printers available for use in DMV customer service centers.

The new production center and process, and security features make Virginia's driver's licenses and ID cards one of the most secure and trusted state-issued credentials in the nation.

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