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After delaying the implementation of the Real ID Act to allow some states and U.S. territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, to come into compliance with the law, the Department of Homeland Security has set a solid Oct. 1 2020 date that will see U.S. citizens attempting to fly with their driver’s licenses being rejected if the licenses are not Real ID Act compliant.
The good news is, the U.S. Virgin Islands, after multiple delays, is now compliant, according to Homeland Security, and driver’s licenses from the territory will be accepted.
The problem is residents with driver’s licenses issued as recently as 2018 may need to visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicle for an updated card. To differentiate the Real ID Act compliant licenses from the old ones, Homeland Security has required a star to be placed at the top corner of the driver’s license.
Former Bureau of Motor Vehicle Director, Lawrence Olive, told lawmakers in August 2018 that the territory would be compliant before the Oct. 10, 2018 deadline D.H.S. had set back in 2016. It was later pushed to 2020.
Now, Barbara McIntosh, the BMV director appointed by Governor Albert Bryan, is making preparations to help residents collect their new Real ID compliant driver’s license.
In a release issued Friday, BMV said that during the months of August and September, its locations in each district will conduct special operating hours on some Saturdays with the purpose of issuing the Real ID compliant driver’s licenses. The initiative is also to encourage residents without a proper ID to get one in case of a hurricane.
“The ID Saturdays goal is to aid members of the community to obtain an ID. As we are in the midst of the hurricane season, it is critical that community members are prepared in case of a disaster,” she said.
ID Saturdays will take place in the St. Thomas and St. Croix offices on three consecutive Saturdays: August 31, September 7 and September 14 from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. On St. John, ID Saturdays will be held on September 7 and September 14 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
According to BMV, to secure a Real ID or non-Real, ID, customers must provide proof of lawful status, an original Social Security Card, and two proofs of physical address. The cost to obtain a Real ID driver’s license is $55 for adults or children. The cost of a non-Real-ID driver’s license is $35 for adults and $15 for children.
If you don’t have a Real ID by Oct. 1, 2020, you’ll need a military ID or passport to fly within the U.S.
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