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Gov. Northam announces expanded partnership to offer REAL IDs to returning citizens

REAL ID-compliant identification cards will be offered to returning citizens at all Virginia Department of Corrections facilities in the Commonwealth.

RICHMOND, Va. — Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam on Wednesday announced that the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and the Virginia Department of Corrections will partner to offer REAL ID-compliant identification cards to returning citizens at all Virginia Department of Corrections facilities in the Commonwealth.

DMV Connect mobile operations teams that serve Virginia’s prison populations have started offering the expanded services on October 1, 2019, which marks one year until the federal law goes into effect requiring a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID, or another approved form of identification such as a passport, for domestic travel or access to secure federal facilities. 

RELATED: Most Americans aren't ready for REAL ID's Oct. 2020 deadline, survey finds

Since 2012, DMV Connect teams have visited every Virginia Department of Corrections facility to process applications for identification cards for offenders nearing release, issuing more than 28,000 state IDs.

The teams use portable equipment that fits inside a suitcase and contains everything they need to process a credential transaction, including taking a new photograph.

On top of that service at the Virginia Department of Corrections facilities, DMV Connect also provides service at the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) facilities, as well as federal prisons, sheriff’s offices, and regional jails.

RELATED: VERIFY: Are there alternative options if you don't want to get a REAL ID license in the DMV?

“A state-issued ID can be the key to finding opportunity after incarceration, from connecting with social services to opening a bank account, getting a job, securing stable housing, and pursuing an education,” said Governor Northam. “We are fully committed to ensuring returning citizens have access to the support they need to successfully reintegrate into society, and having identification that is REAL ID-compliant will be a valuable tool in reducing recidivism and helping them start out on a positive path upon release.”

Right now, the DMV has eight teams stationed in all corners of the Commonwealth.

The 2005 REAL ID Act established national guidelines for cards accepted as proof of identification for federal purposes. Some Virginia military bases may no longer accept non-REAL ID-compliant identification displaying “Federal Limits Apply.” 

Click here to learn more about REAL ID.

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