§ 46.2-345

Issuance of special identification cards; fee; confidentiality; penalties

A. On the application of any person who is a resident of the Commonwealth or the parent or legal guardian of any such person who is under the age of 15, the Department shall issue a special identification card to the person provided:

1. Application is made on a form prescribed by the Department and includes the applicant’s full legal name; year, month, and date of birth; social security number; sex; and residence address;

2. The applicant presents, when required by the Department, proof of identity, legal presence, residency, and social security number or non-work authorized status;

3. The Department is satisfied that the applicant needs an identification card or the applicant shows he has a bona fide need for such a card; and

4. The applicant does not hold a driver’s license, commercial driver’s license, temporary driver’s permit, learner’s permit, or motorcycle learner’s permit.Persons 70 years of age or older may exchange a valid Virginia driver’s license for a special identification card at no fee. Special identification cards subsequently issued to such persons shall be subject to the regular fees for special identification cards.

B. The fee for the issuance of an original or renewal special identification card is $ 5. The fee for the issuance of a duplicate or reissue of a special identification card is $ 5. Persons 21 years old or older may be issued a scenic special identification card for an additional fee of $ 5.

C. Every special identification card shall expire on the last day of the month of birth of the applicant in years in which the applicant attains an age exactly divisible by five. At no time shall any special identification card be issued for less than three nor more than seven years, except under the provisions of subsection B of § 46.2-328.1 and except that those cards issued to children under the age of 15 shall expire on the child’s sixteenth birthday, thereafter the special identification card may be renewed on or before the last day of the month of birth of the applicant and shall be valid for five years, expiring in the next year in which the applicant’s age is exactly divisible by five, except under the provisions of subsection B of § 46.2-328.1. Notwithstanding these limitations, the Commissioner may extend the validity period of an expiring card if (i) the Department is unable to process an application for renewal due to circumstances beyond its control, (ii) the extension has been authorized under a directive from the Governor, and (iii) the card was not issued as a temporary special identification card under the provisions of subsection B of § 46.2-328.1. However, in no event shall the validity period be extended more than 90 days per occurrence of such conditions.

D. A special identification card issued under this section may be similar in size, shape, and design to a driver’s license, and include a photograph of its holder, but the card shall be readily distinguishable from a driver’s license and shall clearly state that it does not authorize the person to whom it is issued to drive a motor vehicle. Every applicant for a special identification card shall appear in person before the Department to apply for a renewal, duplicate or reissue unless specifically permitted by the Department to apply in another manner.

E. Special identification cards, for persons at least 15 years old but less than 21 years old, shall be immediately and readily distinguishable from those issued to persons 21 years old or older. Distinguishing characteristics shall include unique design elements of the document and descriptors within the photograph area to identify persons who are at least 15 years old but less than 21 years old. These descriptors shall include the month, day, and year when the person will become 21 years old.

F. Special identification cards for persons under age 15 shall bear a full face photograph. The special identification card issued to persons under age 15 shall be readily distinguishable from a driver’s license and from other special identification cards issued by the Department. Such cards shall clearly indicate that it does not authorize the person to whom it is issued to drive a motor vehicle.

G. Unless otherwise prohibited by law, a valid Virginia driver’s license may be surrendered for a special identification card without the applicant’s having to present proof of legal presence as required by § 46.2-328.1 if the Virginia driver’s license is unexpired and it has not been revoked, suspended, or cancelled. The special identification card shall be considered a reissue and the expiration date shall be the last day of the month of the surrendered driver’s license’s month of expiration.

H. Any personal information, as identified in § 2.2-3801, which is retained by the Department from an application for the issuance of a special identification card is confidential and shall not be divulged to any person, association, corporation, or organization, public or private, except to the legal guardian or the attorney of the applicant or to a person, association, corporation, or organization nominated in writing by the applicant, his legal guardian, or his attorney. This subsection shall not prevent the Department from furnishing the application or any information thereon to any law-enforcement agency.

I. Any person who uses a false or fictitious name or gives a false or fictitious address in any application for an identification card or knowingly makes a false statement or conceals a material fact or otherwise commits a fraud in any such application shall be guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, where the name or address is given, or false statement is made, or fact is concealed, or fraud committed, with the intent to purchase a firearm or where the identification card is obtained for the purpose of committing any offense punishable as a felony, a violation of this section shall constitute a Class 4 felony.

J. The Department may promulgate regulations necessary for the effective implementation of the provisions of this section.

K. The Department shall utilize the various communications media throughout the Commonwealth to inform Virginia residents of the provisions of this section and to promote and encourage the public to take advantage of its provisions.

L. The Department shall electronically transmit application information to the Department of State Police, in a format approved by the State Police, for comparison with information contained in the Virginia Criminal Information Network and National Crime Information Center Convicted Sexual Offender Registry Files, at the time of issuance of a special identification card. Whenever it appears from the records of the State Police that a person has failed to comply with the duty to register or reregister pursuant to Chapter 9 (§ 9.1-900 et seq.) of Title 9.1, the State Police shall promptly investigate and, if there is probable cause to believe a violation has occurred, obtain a warrant or assist in obtaining an indictment charging a violation of § 18.2-472.1 in the jurisdiction in which the person made application for the special identification card.

M. When requested by the applicant, the applicant’s parent if the applicant is a minor, or the applicant’s guardian, and upon presentation of a signed statement by a licensed physician confirming the applicant’s condition, the Department shall indicate on the applicant’s special identification card that the applicant has any condition listed in subsection K of § 46.2-342.


1973, c. 214, § 46.1-383.3; 1975, c. 549; 1981, cc. 593, 594; 1982, c. 180; 1983, c. 608; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 471, 501; 1997, c. 486; 1998, c. 322; 1999, c. 593; 2002, cc. 767, 834; 2005, cc. 259, 260, 281, 665, 828; 2006, cc. 857, 914; 2009, c. 872; 2012, cc. 215, 222; 2014, c. 702; 2015, c. 167; 2016, cc. 135, 743.


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