The deadline when a REAL ID license will be required for West Virginia residents in order to be able to board planes starting then is May 7, 2025.
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles now says the deadline is 11 years 11 months and 27 days from now.
Unless you have a REAL ID license you will need to show a valid U.S. passport in order to board planes starting then. It also applies to entering secure federal buildings, including military bases and nuclear facilities.
Here is a sample REAL ID West Virginia driver's license.
This shows that there is a gold star in the upper right-hand corner of the license. This means that the holder has set up an appointment with the Division of Motor Vehicles and presented documents that meet the requirements.
A newer version (introduced April 2023) of the REAL ID West Virginia license looks like this:
This shows that there is a gold circle with a white star in the upper right-hand corner. That signifies to the TSA agents at airports that the holder has a REAL ID-compliant driver's license from West Virginia.
Documents Need for a West Virginia REAL ID License
First, you need to set up an appointment at the DMV. Next, you need to bring original documents. They are divided into 3 categories.
1. Proof of Identity. The document you need to bring is an original birth certificate or a valid U.S. passport. If you have changed your name you need to bring that chain of legal name change documents that prove this.
2. Proof of Social Security Number (SSN). You can either bring your original SSN card or a pay stub with the SSN on it.
3. Proof of West Virginia Residency. Here you need to bring two documents, such as a lease, financial statements, prior driver's license (as long as it is still active), etc.
The WV DMV site has an interactive app that allows you to see what specific document you will need to bring.
In a prior article on March 9, 2023, NewsBreak discussed why the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) extended the deadline from May 3, 2023. Suffice it to say, you may be surprised why the DHS did this, as the stated reason - due to Covid-19 - may not be the only real reason.
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