Officials press Real ID upgrade in Dumfries visit

Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb and Rep. Gerry Connelly, D-11th, were in Dumfries Dec. 9 to raise awareness of the need for Virginia residents to get a Real ID driver’s license.

Just about every Virginia resident will need a Real ID driver’s license by Oct. 1 if they want to board a plane or enter a military installation.

“No one wants to go to the airport and be turned down by TSA and not be able to get on that plane,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-11th.

To raise awareness of the need and the deadline, Connolly came to Dumfries on Dec. 9 to the Department of Motor Vehicles Select Center next to the Dumfries Town Hall to get his Real ID. 

“It wasn’t hard but is important,” Connolly said. “We want to do everything we can to simplify and streamline the process. Once you’re done, it’s peace of mind.”

He was joined by DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb, Dumfries Mayor Derrick Wood, Potomac District Supervisor-elect Andrea Bailey and others officials.

“I think the people of Dumfries and the Potomac District understand the importance of this and we want to get on board with Real ID and full compliance,” Wood said. “Tell your family, your friends, your neighbors how simple the process is.”

Wood and Bailey also got their Real IDs on Monday.

“Unfortunately for several states including Virginia, our current licenses do not meet the standards of the Department of Homeland Security. So, anyone in Virginia who wants to travel or to get into secure facilities including military facilities, will need the secure ID,” Connolly said.

To get a Real ID, residents need to apply in person at a DMV with documents which show:

  • Identity and legal presence such as an unexpired passport or a U.S. birth certificate;

  • Social Security number such as a Social Security card or a W-2 form;

  • Two proofs of state residency such as a Virginia driver’s license, a utility bill or a voter registration card;

  • Any name changes such as a marriage license or a divorce certificate.

For a complete list of acceptable documents, visit

Holcomb acknowledged that people have the impression that getting a Real ID would be difficult because of the documentation required.

 More than 900,000 Virginians have gotten a Real ID, but 1.7 million have yet to get one, Holcomb said. At the DMV Connect in Dumfries Monday, more than 60 people got a Real ID before noon. DMV Connect is a mobile driver’s license service that can issue Real IDs. The Dumfries center will have future DMV Connect services from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 10, April 20 and June 15. 

Holcomb said he would like to see DMV Connect in Dumfries on a monthly basis. Real IDs can always be applied for at full-service DMV centers such as the one in Woodbridge. The Dumfries Select DMV center usually only offers vehicle-related services.

“The best time to do this is now because December and January are our slowest months,” Holcomb said. “We think we will be busy until Oct. 1.”

While a passport can still get someone onto an airplane and a military ID can get someone onto a military base, everyone else needs a Real ID.

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