2018 October Update: REAL ID, Domestic Violence Awareness Month and More

Yesterday, the Virginia DMV began offering Virginians the option to upgrade their current Virginia driver's license or identification card to a REAL ID compliant credential.
Beginning October 1, 2020, federal officials will require state-issued driver's licenses or IDs presented as identification to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility to be REAL ID compliant. Several other forms of ID, including a U.S. Passport, Passport Card and some military IDs, will also be accepted for federal identification.

Until October 1, 2020, Virginians can use their current Virginia driver's license or ID as identification to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility. That gives Virginians interested in REAL ID two years to obtain their credential before federal requirements take effect. 

Virginians with a current standard driver's license and ID card should check the expiration date. If the credential expires between October 1, 2018 and October 1, 2020, make the decision whether REAL ID is right for you so you can be prepared at the time of renewal. If your credential expires after October 1, 2020, you may want to visit DMV over the next two years to apply for REAL ID before the October 1, 2020 federal enforcement deadline. First-time applicants will also have the choice between a REAL ID compliant or standard credential.

To obtain a REAL ID compliant credential, all Virginians must visit a DMV in person to reapply for a REAL ID. This step in the process is mandated by federal law. The documents needed to apply for a REAL ID are readily accessible to most Virginians and are similar to those needed when many applied for their original Virginia driver's license or ID. You can find a list of acceptable documents on "Obtaining a Virginia Driver's License or Identification Card".
A REAL ID compliant credential can be used for all of the same purposes as a current driver's license - including driving, voting and accessing federal benefits. It will be available for a one-time $10 surcharge, in addition to standard fees.

Since REAL ID is optional, you may decide you don't want or need one. You may continue to renew your driver's license or ID as you always have. Should you need to board a domestic flight or enter a secure federal facility, you may use another approved form of ID; a full list is available at

For more information about REAL ID, visit dmvNOW.com/REALID.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month 


Launched nationally in October 1987, Domestic Violence Awareness Month 

is an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the issues, share resources, and most importantly, support survivors. 
It is estimated that one in every seven families has a domestic violence incident, and one in 14 has a physical abuse incident. Women are more often murdered by someone they know and love than a stranger. Many women need help breaking the cycle of violence, and children need even more help to escape abusers.
Over the last three decades, much progress has been made to support domestic violence victims and survivors, to hold abusers accountable, and to create and update legislation to further those goals. But so much more remains to be done. While serving in the General Assembly, I have worked to combat domestic and sexual violence by:
  • Sponsoring legislation increasing penalties for certain stalking or domestic violence offenses,
  • Sponsoring legislation banning child marriage in Virginia,
  • Co-sponsoring legislation eliminating requirements for victims of sexual violence to pay for the recovery of physical evidence or submit to a polygraph before commencing prosecution,
  • Sponsoring legislation that extends protective orders to pets of victims of domestic violence,
  • Sponsoring legislation allowing circuit courts that have issued permanent protective orders to modify, dissolve, or extend them, and requiring the court to enter and transfer identifying information to the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) system,
  • Sponsoring and co-sponsoring legislation incorporating instruction on dating violence and the characteristics of abusive relationships, and instruction on how to detect and prevent sexual assault, sexual harassment, child abuse, child abduction, and child sexual exploitation into school curriculum guidelines for family life education, and
  • Supporting omnibus legislation amending the Sex offender and Crimes Against Minors Registry provisions to protect our children from convicted sex offenders.
Many organizations in the 9th Senate District are working to end domestic violence and support survivors. Here is a list of some of these organizations:
Action Alliance
State-wide Hotline: (800) 838-8238
Text: (804) 793-9999
Instant messaging: http://www.vadata.org/chat
Service Areas: Virginia
YWCA of Richmond Women's Advocacy Program
24-hour Hotline: (804) 612-6126
Service Areas: Greater Richmond Region 
Project Hope at Quin Rivers 
24-hour Hotline: (877) 966-4357
Service Areas: Charles City County, King and Queen County, King William County, New Kent County, Town of West Point
Hanover Safe Place
24-hour Hotline: (804) 752-2702
Service Areas: Hanover County, Town of Ashland
Safe Harbor
24-hour Hotline: (804) 287-7877

Service Areas: Henrico County

Special Session II - Redistricting Update

Virginia Capitol
As reported last month, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia struck down the Virginia House of Delegates districts as unconstitutional and gave the General Assembly until October 30 adopt a remedial plan.  We have been in Special Session since August 30th to comply with the Court's order. 
Last week, the House Privileges & Elections Committee reported on a party-line vote HB 7003, a plan sponsored by Delegate Chris Jones.  You can view interactive maps of HB 7003 and other plans introduced by House Democrats and Republicans at VPAP.
It is unclear when the House of Delegates, or the Senate for that matter, will convene to consider HB 7003.  If the General Assembly does not pass a bill redrawing the House districts by October 30th, the Court will. 
Stay tuned.
Beloved Community Conversations Continue


On September 26, 2018, The Virginia Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission held its 8th Beloved Community Conversation at Hampton University.  

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