The only difference is the ones that say ‘Not for Federal’ or ‘Not for REAL ID Purposes’ may not be used to board aircraft or get into some federal buildings once REAL ID enforcement begins. / Photo courtesy W.Va. DMV

DMV clarifies REAL ID and Driver’s License differences

CHARLESTON, WV — DMV Commissioner Everett Frazier would like to remind customers about the upcoming federal enforcement of REAL ID, and about the differences between the two types of valid driver’s licenses and identification cards that DMV currently issues.

Federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act is set to begin on October 1, 2021. To board an aircraft or get into some federal buildings, you will need to have a REAL ID-compliant credential. The Department of Homeland Security’s website at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id includes information regarding acceptable forms of REAL ID. One is a driver’s license. WV DMV does offer a REAL ID-compliant credential, often called a “For Federal” or “gold star” license or ID card.

Currently, there are two different “looks” to West Virginia’s REAL ID-compliant license, due to a change in licensing vendors. If you received your license or ID card after December 2020, you more than likely have the new look.

According to Commissioner Frazier, “WV DMV now issues all license and ID card credentials through central issuance. This means that when you come to our offices for a driver’s license or ID card, you will receive a temporary receipt with your picture on it. The temporary receipt combined with your expired License or ID should provide proof of identity and/or licensure while your hard copy is produced in a central, off-site secure print facility.

“BOTH types of licenses and ID cards are valid, secure credentials. The only difference is the ones that say ‘Not for Federal’ or ‘Not for REAL ID Purposes’ may not be used to board aircraft or get into some federal buildings once REAL ID enforcement begins. But they are still valid credentials and should be treated as such,” he added.

If you currently have a “Not For Federal” or “Not For REAL ID Purposes” driver’s license or ID card, and you would like to switch to the REAL ID-compliant credential, DMV is happy to assist you. Please visit any Regional Office and be sure to bring proof of identity, proof of Social Security Number, and two proofs of physical residency. If your name has changed and is different than what is on your proof of identity document, you will need to bring name change documents as well to show the link in names. Appointments are strongly encouraged for your convenience and may be made by visiting the DMV website at dmv.wv.gov or by calling 304-558-3938

For more information about REAL ID in WV, please visit go.wv.gov/realid.

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