RICHMOND – Flying home to visit family this Thanksgiving? Or maybe you’re headed to Florida for some fun in the sun for the long weekend. The driver’s license you have in your wallet will get you on the plane this year, but, soon, you’ll need to upgrade to a REAL ID to fly within the United States.
“Federal identification requirements for domestic air travel change May 7, 2025. We don’t want Virginians to be caught off guard at airport security,” said Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Gerald Lackey. “Visit DMV soon to upgrade your license to a REAL ID so your travel plans aren’t interrupted.”
Beginning May 7, 2025, Virginians who want to board a domestic flight will need to have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID or another federally accepted form of identification such as a U.S. passport, passport card or military ID. REAL ID regulations also apply to military bases and secure federal facilities; some military bases are already requiring REAL ID or another federally accepted ID for entry.
To upgrade your driver’s license or ID to REAL ID, simply complete your application online and then visit DMV with the documents you selected during the application process. For most folks, those documents are:
- Your state-issued birth certificate or valid U.S. passport
- Your Social Security card (if you’ve lost the card but know the number, we can verify it for you)
- Two proofs of your current Virginia address, such as your most recent utility bill and your driver’s license
Full details and the application are available at dmv.virginia.gov/REALID. The cost of a REAL ID upgrade is a one-time $10 fee in addition to the cost of your license or ID.
“More than 3.2 million Virginians have already obtained a REAL ID, but, if you haven’t gotten yours, I ask you to take a moment now to consider whether you’ll need one,” Commissioner Lackey said. “If you don’t have a passport or another acceptable ID and you fly, even occasionally, please visit DMV as soon as you can to apply for REAL ID. You don’t want to miss life’s special moments because you didn’t have the ID you needed to get on the plane.”