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How to Obtain ID Cards in Virginia

A Virginia ID card is a photo identification that you can obtain from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A DMV ID card looks similar to a drivers license, but it only serves as an identification card, not driving credentials. Any eligible person may apply for ID card credentials. ID cards are available for children and adults, but you can also order a special card if you are a veteran. Once you have a new ID card, you must renew ID card credentials regularly. It is also important to replace ID card credentials if your card becomes lost or stolen. Find all of the Virginia ID card information you need before applying.

Types of ID Cards in Virginia

Virginia issues identification cards for adults, children and veterans. The ID card application steps and eligibility requirements vary slightly for each type. Virginia ID cards for children and adults are similar. However, veteran DMV ID cards display different information and can be used to obtain military discounts and show proof of veteran status. A regular ID card can be used as an official, government- issued proof of identification for any situation in which an ID is required. Veterans’ ID cards, on the other hand, are not meant to be used as the cardholder’s primary form of identification. The only exception to this is that a veteran ID card can be used as the cardholder’s identification while voting.

Eligibility Requirements for a Virginia ID Card

To get a Virginia ID card, there are a few basic requirements you must meet. However, be aware that getting a veteran identification card comes with different eligibility requirements than a regular ID. To get an adult or child ID card in Virginia, you must:

  • Be a resident of Virginia.
  • Not hold a VA drivers license, permit, commercial driver license or other driving credential.
  • Not have a driving license or ID card from any other state.
  • Be able to provide documentation proving your identity, residency and legal presence.
  • Pay an ID card application fee, as well as renewal fees.

You can still apply for an ID card in Virginia if you already hold a drivers license or an ID. However, you must surrender your existing identification card or driving license when submitting an application for ID.

If you are a veteran and want a Virginia DMV ID card showing your veteran status, then you must meet a different set of eligibility requirements. Like ID card applicants, you must be a resident of Virginia to get a state ID. However, to get a veteran identification card, it is required that you already have a Virginia drivers license, commercial driver’s license, learners permit or regular ID card. You cannot receive a veteran ID from the DMV without having one of these credentials first. Additionally, you will need to prove your veteran status to the DMV. To obtain a veteran DMV ID card in Virginia, you are required to have served in the active U.S. Armed Forces. You can also get a veteran ID if you were in the Virginia National Guard or the U.S. Reserves for at least 180 days. When applying for an ID card, you will need to provide proof of your military service, as well as proof of your honorable discharge.

Virginia DMV ID Card Application Process

Applying for an ID card in Virginia requires that you fill out an application that is specific to the type of ID you require. Note that the ID card applications for children, adults and veterans are different. You must fill out the Identification Card Application for Minors for a child’s credentials. You will complete the Application for a Drivers License or Identification Card on the other hand to get ID as an adult. A veteran ID card can be obtained using the Virginia Veterans Identification Card Application form. All of these applications can be obtained online or by visiting the DMV.

When applying for a regular ID card in Virginia, you must visit the DMV in person to complete the application process. You cannot get regular identification cards online for security purposes. Getting an ID card for a child or for yourself when you have never held a Virginia ID or driver’s license will require that you bring in the proper identity, residency and legal presence documents. If you are a veteran applying for an ID card, then you can get an ID card online, by mail, by fax or in person. A veteran ID card application will require that you submit your military service documents with it.

How to Renew an ID Card in Virginia

Regular ID cards in Virginia expire on your birthday eight years from the date that the card was issued. Veteran identification cards do not expire. You may choose the option “renew ID card online” or complete the process at a DMV customer service center. Each time you renew ID card credentials, you will pay a renewal fee. You may only renew an ID card online in Virginia every other renewal period. If you renewed your card online last time, then you must visit a customer service center to have your photograph updated. Additionally, you must renew ID cards in person if you have a name change or if other personal information needs to be updated. In most cases, you can submit address changes online while renewing your card.

Replacing an ID Card in Virginia

In the event of a lost ID card in Virginia, you should obtain a replacement as soon as possible. If your Virginia DMV ID card is damaged, then it is also necessary to order a replacement card. Furthermore, when personal information such as your name changes, it is necessary to get a new card that displays your updated information. You do not need to replace your ID card for an address change, but you may order a replacement card if you wish. It is easy to replace ID card credentials in person at a DMV office. You can also replace ID cards online if you meet certain eligibility requirements. In general, a Virginia ID card can only be replaced online when your card is not expired and when you do not need to change or verify any of your information. Replacing an ID card in Virginia requires that you pay a DMV fee to receive a new card.