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By : Mister Kleen October 6, 2020 Comments off

In case you missed it, you have an extra year to get the federal government’s REAL ID, thanks to the global pandemic. The original deadline was Oct. 1, but has been extended to May 3, 2023 – after that date, you must have a REAL ID to access federal facilities, enter secure military installations, or board a domestic flight.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the deadline after COVID-19 has caused delays at Departments of Motor Vehicles around the country. DHS oversees enforcement of the REAL ID Act, which strengthens national standards for driver’s license and identification cards. The act was passed in 2005  after the 9/11 Commission found that some of the Sept. 11, 2001 hijackers used fraudulent driver’s licenses or state IDs to board the planes used in the terrorist attacks.

States were provided 15 years to start issuing the REAL ID driver’s licenses and ID cards, and Homeland Security Today reported in mid-September that all 50 states are now compliant. Each jurisdiction issues its own unique license and maintains its own database of records. Please see information below about the jurisdictions in the DMV and their requirements.


Currently, in Virginia, all applicants for a REAL ID must make an appointment at dmvNOW.com to apply in-person and provide DMV with physical documentation. Virginia residents who want a REAL ID compliant credential can start the process by selecting the documents that they will bring to DMV and then make an appointment at dmvNOW.com/appt. The DMV charges a $10 one-time surcharge in addition to standard fees for a driver’s license. A standard driver’s license renewal costs $32.

To get a REAL ID, here are the documents that you’ll need:

  • One from this category: Unexpired U.S. passport or U.S. birth certificate
  • One from this category: Social Security card or W-2 form displaying full number. Note: You will not be required to present proof of your Social Security number if you know the number and DMV is able to electronically verify it.
  • Two from this category: Valid Virginia driver’s license, recent utility bills, mortgage statement, or rental lease agreements displaying current residential street address, not a P.O. Box. Note: You may redact (blackout/whiteout) sensitive financial information.

For more information on obtaining a REAL ID in Virginia, go here.

Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration’s offices are open by appointment only. Start your application for REAL ID by completing the Online Document Guide at mva.maryland.gov/odg. After completing the guide, the form will prompt you to make an appointment.  The cost for the REAL ID-compliant driver’s license is $20 if you already have an older Maryland driver’s license or identification card. There are no additional fees when renewing your driver’s license, just the standard renewal cost of $6 per year for non-commercial licenses. Click here to visit the MVA’s site for more details on REAL ID compliance.

You can also check your REAL ID status at www.mva.maryland.gov/realidlookup


The District of Columbia’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) service centers require an appointment to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license – you can make one online by clicking here. Before doing so, you’ll want to check the documents needed. Find details about those documents, the online application for a driver’s license, and more information by clicking here. There are no additional fees for the REAL ID license – you’ll just pay the regular service charges such as $47 for first-time licenses and renewals.

For more information about the REAL ID, click here to visit the DHS website.

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