How to Obtain an Identification Card in Virginia

Having a Virginia ID card provides those who cannot obtain a drivers license with a form of identification. Therefore, it is crucial that you understand the DMV ID card application process, the eligibility requirements and the documentation that you must provide in order to obtain a new card. Similar to a drivers license, you will need to maintain your new ID card once you receive it, including renewals and knowing how to replace ID card credentials in lost, stolen or damaged instances. For more ID card information, including how to apply for ID card credentials, renewal methods and ID card replacement, view the sections provided below.

Who is eligible for a Virginia DMV ID Card?

Both adults and children can obtain an ID card in Virginia, though child ID cards must be obtained by a parent or legal guardian on behalf of a minor. In addition to providing a form of identification, a child DMV ID card can be crucial, should your child ever go missing. The child’s photograph is stored on the DMV database, which can be retrieved and provided to law enforcement anywhere within the United States in the event of a missing child.

While any parent can obtain an ID card for his or her child, in order to be eligible for an adult DMV ID card, you must be at least 15 years old, and you cannot hold a learners permit or a drivers license within Virginia, or otherwise. If you do have a drivers license or a learners permit, you will be required to surrender it before you can complete an ID card application, such as in the event where you can no longer operate a motor vehicle, due to a medical condition. You are also required to be a United States citizen or have a legal presence within the United States, as well as to be a resident of Virginia.

Virginia ID cards are meant to provide proof of identification to those who cannot or do not wish to obtain drivers licenses. This can be an invaluable service, as there are many times where you may need to provide identification in VA, such as when hired by a new employer, when purchasing alcohol or tobacco, when submitting a lender application and if you would like to visit an age-restricted concert, bar or nightclub. Additionally, DMV ID cards in Virginia have the option of including a variety of medical conditions, such as insulin-dependent diabetes, speech impairment, intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder.

How to Submit an ID Card Application in Virginia

If you are eligible for a Virginia ID card, it is important to understand how you can apply for a new one. While you cannot apply for a new ID card online, you can submit your application by visiting your local Virginia DMV. During your visit, ensure that you bring the following documentation:

  • Your Social Security card
  • Proof of identification and legal presence
  • Two accepted proof of residency documents
  • The ID card fee

Learn more about the ID card application required documents by downloading our free guide.

After completing your ID card application, you will receive your new DMV ID card in the mail, once your application has finished processing. ID cards can be valid up to eight years, and both adult and children DMV ID cards will expire on listed birthdays during expiration years.

How to Replace ID Card in Virginia

If you need to replace ID card credentials in Virginia, there are two methods available. In the case of a lost ID card or one that has been stolen or damaged, you can obtain duplicate identification cards online or by visiting your local Customer Service Center.

Not only is obtaining a duplicate ID card online the most convenient method, but it is also more cost effective, as Virginia offers discount ID card replacements if you make your request online. You can take advantage of online services unless:

  • Your ID card was issued before January 1, 2004.
  • A correction needs to be made on your ID, such as a name change.
  • Your DMV ID card is expired.
  • You owe money to the DMV from a previous transaction.
  • You are under the age of 18.
  • You need a new photo taken.
  • You do not have a Virginia address.

Alternatively, you can visit any Virginia Customer Service Center and complete the DMV ID card application. Keep in mind that you may be required to provide two additional identification documents. If you choose to obtain a replacement in person, a new photo will need to be taken. Download our complimentary guide to read more about ID card replacement procedures in Virginia.

How to Renew ID Card Credentials in Virginia

You will receive a notice for your ID card renewal from the Virginia DMV prior the expiration of your identification card. There are two ways to renew your DMV ID card: online or in person. Should you choose use the renew ID card online service, you will likely find that this is the fastest and most convenient method, as it can be done within the comfort of your own home, plus it saves you money on your renewal payment. You are eligible for an online renewal unless:

  • You are under the age of 18.
  • You are required to have a new photo taken.
  • Your last renewal was not completed in person.
  • Your ID card has already expired.
  • Your DMV ID card is not due to expire in the next six months.
  • You owe the Virginia DMV money.
  • You are required to provide proof of legal presence.

In these cases, you will be required to renew your ID card at a local Customer Service Center. You will be expected to surrender your current DMV ID card, complete another application and you will need to provide proof of legal presence or citizenship if your identification card is expired or if you have a limited-duration card. Additionally, you will be required to have a new photo taken. Learn more about ID card renewal by downloading our comprehensive guide.