FORT LEE, Va. – To comply with federal law, Fort Lee may have to stop accepting state-issued identification from certain U.S. states, including Virginia, for visitor access to the installation.
The 2005 REAL ID Act set minimum security standards for driver’s licenses and other identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting non-compliant identification for certain purposes, including entrance to military installations. Only 26 U.S. states and territories are considered fully compliant with the law.
The Department of Homeland Security granted limited extensions to eight states working toward compliance. Those extensions expired June 6, leaving a little more than one month during a DHS-authorized grace period for these states to either be certified as compliant or granted an additional extension. Otherwise, starting July 11, driver’s licenses and identification cards issued by Alaska, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia and Washington will not be accepted for visitor access to Fort Lee.
State-issued identification from Montana, Minnesota, Missouri and Maine are already not accepted for entrance to Fort Lee, due to non-compliance.
Separate extensions for 18 other states and territories are also set to expire in October. A current list of state compliance and extension statuses is available at www.dhs.gov/real-id.
Regardless of their compliance status, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington all offer optional enhanced driver’s licenses that are considered superior to the act’s requirements and may be used for visitor access to Fort Lee.
“While additional extensions may still be granted to states during this grace period, we want guests planning to visit Fort Lee after July 10 to know that additional identification may be needed to enter the post,” said Tony DeWitt, the post’s director of emergency services. “It’s important that visitors have all the proper documentation when arriving to ensure there are no delays or denials for entry.”
Those requesting entry with driver’s licenses or identification cards from non-compliant states must provide additional identification for access. Acceptable forms of identification include: a U.S. passport, Social Security card, birth certificate, permanent resident card/Alien Registration Receipt Card (form 1-551), foreign passport with a temporary I-551 stamp or visa, or an employment authorization document including a photograph (Form I-766), among others.
“We encourage all visitors to Fort Lee to check our website at www.lee.army.mil/access for a full list of acceptable identification and comprehensive information on accessing our post,” DeWitt said. “Individuals can also monitor the DHS website for REAL ID status updates affecting their state.”
Fort Lee Soldiers, families and civilian employees began a century of support to the nation in 1917 when Camp Lee was established to train the 80th Division for service during WWI. Today, Fort Lee is the Army’s Home of Sustainment and supports the training, education and development of adaptive Army professionals in fields such as transportation, supply, culinary arts and equipment repair and maintenance. Major organizations on the installation include the Defense Commissary Agency, Defense Contract Management Agency, Combined Arms Support Command, the Army Logistics University, U.S. Army Ordnance School, U.S. Army Quartermaster School and U.S. Army Transportation School. Fort Lee supports nearly 86,000 Soldiers, retirees, veterans, family members and civilian employees and boasts an economic impact of about $2.4 billion per year.