Public Safety & Justice

D.C., Virginia to Finally Comply with Federal License Regulations

April 22, 2014

There’s no good way to break it to you, D.C. license holders. You’re going to have to make a trip to the DMV, all 540,000 of you.

Starting May 1, the District will start issuing Real ID licenses that conform to stringent federal regulations, the Department of Motor Vehicles announced last week.

Any driver’s license issued before that date will need to be replaced by Oct. 1, to enter certain federal buildings and by 2016 to board a domestic flight (alternatively, a passport can still be used). All other licenses, permits and identification cards issued by the DMV also are affected by the new regulations.

At the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission, Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 with the goal of making it more difficult for people to obtain state-issued IDs using fraudulent means.

Twenty states have already updated their licenses to reflect the new regulations, including Maryland. Virginia has been granted an extension to Oct. 10. to become compliant.

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