RICHMOND, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Earlier this week, a new partnership began offering REAL ID-compliant identification cards to citizens who are leaving the correction system in Virginia.
Governor Ralph Northam announced the partnership between the Virginia Departments of Motor Vehicles and Corrections on Wednesday.
The ID cards are being offered at all DOC facilities across the Commonwealth by the DMV Connect mobile operations teams that serve the state's prisons.
"A state-issued ID can be the key to finding opportunity after incarceration, from connecting with social services, to opening a bank account, getting a job, securing stable housing, and pursuing an education," said Northam. "We are fully committed to ensuring returning citizens have access to the support they need to successfully reintegrate into society, and having identification that is REAL ID-compliant will be a valuable tool in reducing recidivism and helping them start out on a positive path upon release."
Virginia Secretary of Transportation Shannon Valentines says more than 650,000 Virginians have already gotten a REAL ID-compliant card at the Commonwealth's DMV locations.
According to a release, DMV Connect teams have visited every DOC facility in Virginia to process applications for ID cards for offenders.
The release adds that the popularity and ease of the program inspired the state agency to add DMV Connect teams to its overall services and provide full DMV services at locations where customers frequent, such as shopping centers, libraries, retirement communities, military bases, government centers, and more.
Being able to get a new ID when they leave the correctional system has helped inmates by checking off an item on their long checklist they need to complete upon their release.
DMV Commissioner Richard Holcomb says the REAL ID is the state agency's most in-demand service.
For more information about the REAL ID, click on the link in the Related Links box.