What you need to know about Virginia's new 'Real ID'

More than 7,500 Virginians have gotten a Real ID since Monday

ROANOKE, Va. – This is the first week that Virginians are able to apply for a Real ID.

It looks just like a regular license or ID card, except it has a star in the upper right-hand corner to show it meets updated federal ID requirements.

10 News found out what you need to know about Real ID, and if you really need one.

Rob Harman didn't want to wait to get a Real ID.

"My license had expired and I knew that I would have to get it," said Harman. 

Harman says he flies weekly, and the airport is one of the places you'll need a Real ID starting in October of 2020.

More than 7,500 Virginians have gotten a Real ID since the Commonwealth started offering them on Monday.

This is to comply with federal security requirements for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards.
"We have actually been working toward compliance for many years now," said Brandy Brubaker, DMV spokesperson.  

The only difference you'll see between a real ID and the ID you have now is this:

"You'll notice that it has a small star in the upper right corner that signifies it's acceptable for the federal uses."

In two years, not only will you need a Real ID to take a domestic flight. You'll also need it to access a military base or other secure federal facility.

You can also use a passport and some military IDs. Your regular license or ID is still good for everything else.

"They may decide real id is not for them, which is perfectly fine," said Brubaker. "They can continue to renew their Virginia driver's license or ID card just as they always have, and they don't need to upgrade to Real ID."

You do have to apply for a Real ID in person.

There's a one-time $10 fee to get a Real ID, plus the regular cost of your license or ID card.

For more information on the Real ID, visit the DMV website. 

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