Virginia driver's licenses now becoming REAL ID compliant by 2020: Here's what you need to know

- If you have a Virginia driver's license and plan on flying domestically or going into secure federal facilities or military bases, and don't have a passport, you will need to update your driver's license by October 2020.

Virginia licenses aren't currently compliant with the federal REAL ID program, which was enacted after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles has started offering upgraded driver's licenses to meet federal requirements that will affect plane travelers. People seeking them must apply in person and provide physical documentation of their identity, legal presence in the U.S., Social Security number and two proofs of residency. There is also a small fee.

Beginning in October 2020, current driver's licenses won't be sufficient for boarding a plane or entering secure federal facilities or military bases. If you plan on flying domestically, you can keep your current driver's license until it is time to renew, but you must use other approved forms of ID, including a passport as your identification for federal purposes. Your license will not be accepted at by TSA and other federal government agents.

You can find information about how to apply for a U.S. Passport through the Department of State.

There are two forms of the licenses that will be issued: a REAL ID-compliant license, which requires certain documents to apply and allows the holder to board a domestic flight or to access secure federal facilities (including secure military bases), as well as a standard license, which should only be obtained by those who do not plan on flying domestically or going into secure federal facilities and secure military bases.

The REAL ID license will feature a star in the upper right corner, while standard licenses will say "FEDERAL LIMITS APPLY" in the upper right corner. 

Those who want a REAL ID card will have to apply for one by October 1, 2020. If you will only need the standard license or have a passport you can use for flying who will not have to renew until your listed driver's license expiration date.

Virginia DMV has more information about REAL ID and how to apply.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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