A Virginia state ID card provides photo identification for state residents who cannot drive, prefer not to drive or have retired from driving. An ID card can be obtained by most state residents by visiting a VA Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) location. There is no age requirement for obtaining a photo ID in Virginia, and having one can be helpful to all of the state’s non-drivers.

Your identification card will provide the same identification abilities as a Virginia drivers license, but it does not provide privileges to operate any type of motorized vehicle. If you already have a driver’s license, you cannot apply for your ID – unless you voluntarily surrender your license. Continue reading the following sections to learn how to get a state ID credential, and find out how much to budget for your ID fee payment.

Virginia DMV ID Requirements

Virginia DMV state ID requirements do not include age limits. However, parents of children younger than age 15 must complete a child ID card application, instead of the standard application for adults. A children’s ID credential can be helpful during emergency identification situations, and when traveling.

The VA DMV has specific ID card requirements that each applicant must meet, including being a resident of Virginia, and having legal presence in the United States. You are not required to supply proof of legal presence if you were born in 1937 or earlier, however. Additionally, the DMV must be able to verify that you have held a VA driver’s license or ID credential that is valid or not expired more than five years.

When applying for a child identification card in Virginia, legal presence may be shown by the child’s name appearing on the parent’s legal presence document. The child’s legal presence expiration date will be the same as the parent’s.

What do you need to get an ID in Virginia?

What do you need to get a state ID in Virginia? You must present certain documentation, and pay a fee, to obtain each type of VA ID. The documents needed for state ID are used by the DMV to verify your age, identity, Virginia address and legal presence in the United States. The most commonly used documents are listed in each category below:

  1. Adult Applicants:
  • One proof of identity and legal presence (U.S. citizens):
    • A driver’s license or ID issued in VA or another state
    • A U.S. birth certificate
    • A U.S. passport or passport card
    • A Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization
  • One proof of identity and legal presence (non-U.S. citizens):
    • An unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired U.S. visa and an I-94 or entry stamp
    • An unexpired Employment Authorization document (I-766) and a USCIS form I-797 displaying applicant’s name
    • An unexpired Permanent Resident card
  • One proof of Social Security number (SSN):
    • A Social Security card
    • A W-2 IRS tax form
    • An employer-issued payroll check stub showing the full SSN
  • Two proofs of Virginia residency:
    • A mortgage statement or lease agreement
    • A U.S. Postal Service change of address confirmation form
    • A utility bill less than 60 days old
    • Official correspondence from a federal, state or local government agency
    • A billing statement printed with the applicant’s name and current address
  1. Child Applicants:
  • One identity document for the child:
    • A birth certificate
    • An unexpired U.S. passport
  • A Social Security card, if the child has been issued one
  • Verification of a parent’s legal presence and VA residency on the Identification Card Application for Minors

How to Get an ID in Virginia

Applicants wondering where to get state ID in Virginia have just one option for submitting adult or child ID applications. To apply, you must appear in person, at a VA DMV location. Although you cannot get ID online in VA, you can complete your ID application form online ahead of your DMV visit. Note that you must use a full legal name on the application; nicknames are not allowed.

When you apply for ID in VA, be sure to bring all the documents you need, from the lists outlined above, and submit them, along with your application. After processing your application, the clerk will take your photo and collect your fee. The fee amount is determined by how long you want the document to be valid, as explained below. You will then receive a receipt to carry until your new DMV ID card arrives by mail.

On your child’s ID card or your own, you may request the addition of certain medical indicators. These indicators help law enforcement personnel identify disabilities. Applicants must provide a signed physician statement verifying the medical condition. A “9” will appear in the card’s restriction field, and will be decoded on the back of the document as such:

  • IntD – Intellectual disability
  • ASD – Autism spectrum disorder
  • Speech impairment
  • Insulin-dependent diabetic

REAL ID Cards in Virginia

Getting a REAL ID card in Virginia is currently still optional, but having this type of identification can be helpful. Because it complies with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005, this kind of ID provides a higher level of security. You must have a REAL ID-compliant credential (or another acceptable form of ID) to enter nuclear power plants, visit certain federal facilities or board domestic flights after October 1, 2020. Therefore, it makes sense to obtain this credential, as soon as possible, if you travel frequently or access federal facilities often.

If you decide to apply for REAL ID in VA, follow the same steps outlined above for the state’s standard ID credential. The documents required for REAL ID applications are the same as those needed for standard IDs.

How to Renew or Replace a State ID in Virginia

If you must replace a lost ID card or renew an expiring ID, you may be eligible to do so online, every other renewal cycle. You may also obtain your renewal or replacement ID card in person, at any DMV location. Most applicants will be able to pay the ID renewal fee or replacement fee, and receive a new credential without having to submit new identification documents. However, you will usually have a new photo taken to update the DMV’s image on file.

DMV ID Costs in Virginia

The cost of an ID card in Virginia is determined by the length of time that the card is valid. The DMV ID price in VA is $2 per year, with a minimum charge of $10, and a maximum of $16. Note that there is an additional $10 surcharge for REAL ID credentials. There is no charge for seniors 70 years of age and older.

Note: Senior citizens may exchange their VA driver’s licenses for VA ID card credentials if they no longer wish to drive.

Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.