Obtaining an Identification Card
You must be a resident of Virginia to obtain an ID card.
An ID card has no age restriction and is available for an adult or child who does not already hold a learner's permit or driver's license issued from a state within the United States.
If you already hold a valid Virginia driver's license, you may exchange your driver's license for an ID card.
If you are applying for an ID card and do not hold a valid Virginia driver's license, you must present documents proving your identification and residency. You may also be required to present proof of legal presence.
You can find out which documents that DMV will accept as proof of identity, legal presence, and Virginia residency can be found by either:
- Using the interactive Document Guide.
- Reviewing Acceptable Documents for Obtaining a Driver's License or ID Card (DMV 141)
If you were born in 1937 or earlier and you are applying for an ID card, you will not have to provide proof of legal presence if you now hold or previously held a Virginia driver's license or ID card, provided that (1) your license or ID card has not been expired for more than 5 years and (2) DMV can verify that it was issued to you. If you cannot furnish the license or ID card when you apply for your new ID card, be prepared to provide alternative proof that you held the old license or ID card. DMV will attempt to verify your old license or ID card if you cannot provide any alternative proof. However, if DMV cannot verify its issuance, or if you are authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily, you will be required to present one document as proof of legal presence to obtain your new ID card.
All documents must be originals. Temporary documents and photocopies of documents will not be accepted. All documents will be subject to verification, which may delay the issuance of your identification card. DMV will not accept a document as proof of identity, legal presence or residency when there is reason to believe it has been altered, fraudulently obtained or is fake, forged, counterfeit, or otherwise non-genuine or illegitimate. DMV may require additional documents.
Falsifying information on any driver's license or identification card application is a criminal offense. Altering or assisting a person with improperly or fraudulently obtaining a driver's license, learner's permit, CDL, commercial learner's permit or ID card are also criminal offenses.
Documents accepted by DMV as proof of identity, legal presence and Virginia residency may change without prior notice.[Back to Top]
Selective Service Registration
Generally, males under age 26 must register with the Selective Service. If you are required by federal law to register with the Selective Service, you must authorize DMV to forward your personal information to the Selective Service unless you have already registered.
If you are under age 18, your parent or guardian must sign your application authorizing the Selective Service to register you when you turn age 18.
DMV is prohibited by law from issuing any type of driver's license or ID card to an applicant who is required by federal law to register with the Selective Service but who refuses to authorize DMV to send his information to the Selective Service. If you have questions about Selective Service registration, visit the Selective Service website at www.sss.gov or call 847-688-6888 (TTY: 847-688-2567).[Back to Top]
Completing the Application
You may complete these forms before or after coming to DMV. Use your full legal name on the application. Abbreviations and nicknames will not be accepted. For your convenience, you also may apply to register to vote, change your voter registration address, or indicate your desire to become an organ donor when you apply for your ID card.[Back to Top]
An ID card costs $10.00. You may pay your fees with cash, money order, check, check card or major credit card.[Back to Top]
Length of Time an ID Card is Valid
Individuals required to register with the Virginia State Police Sex Offender and Crimes Against Children registry (Virginia Code Chapter 9 of Title 9.1) will be issued ID cards valid for five years.
If you are authorized to be in the U.S. temporarily, you will be issued an ID card valid only for the amount of time that you are legally permitted to stay in the U.S. You will not be eligible to receive a limited duration ID card if your authorized stay in the U.S. is less than 30 days from the date of your application. The expiration of the ID card will be the same as the expiration date shown on the document used to prove legal presence. If the document does not show an expiration date, the ID card will be valid for one year.[Back to Top]
Getting Your ID Card
You will receive your newly designed secure ID card in the mail, so make sure that DMV has your current, correct address on record. DMV has converted to a new secure process for issuing driver's licenses and ID cards and has discontinued issuing them over the counter. The U.S. Postal Service will not forward identification cards, so notify DMV right away if you have moved.
If you have renewed your ID card, you can continue to carry your old ID card with your receipt until you receive your new ID card.
DMV will assign you a customer number which will display on your ID card. If you wish to change your DMV-assigned number in the future, you may be required to present documentation from law enforcement or the courts indicating that you may be a victim of identity theft.[Back to Top]
DMV may refuse to issue a driver's license or identification card to any applicant who appears for photographing in a disguise or intentionally distorts their face to alter their appearance.
For examples of ID cards, refer to images of driver's licenses and identification cards.
An applicant or parent or legal guardian (if applicant is under 18), submitting a signed physician statement may voluntarily request indicators be placed on the applicant's identification card (ID) as a means of identifying their disability to law enforcement personnel. A “9” will display in the restriction field on the face of the ID and will be decoded on the back as follows:
- Insulin-dependent diabetic
- Speech impairment
- Intellectual disability (IntD will display)
- Autism spectrum disorder (ASD will display)