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Youngkin announces task force on troubled temporary detention order system



With state hospitals continuing to be strained by mental health patients in crisis, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Monday, December 12, 2022, the creation of a task force to combat deficiencies in how Virginia handles individuals whom magistrates order to be held involuntarily for treatment.

Virginia’s current system “is bad for patients, care providers, families, and law enforcement who wait with these patients for a placement,” said Secretary of Health and Human Resources John Littel in a release. “This task force is a key step in improving the behavioral health system in Virginia.”

The announcement follows comments by Youngkin this November after two mass shootings at the University of Virginia and a Walmart in Chesapeake that he intends to propose legislation during the upcoming session to boost mental health resources.

According to the administration release, the task force will focus on the state’s system of temporary detention orders. Under state law, TDOs can be issued by a magistrate for a person if a petition and an evaluation conclude the person has a mental illness, there is a “substantial likelihood” they will cause serious physical harm to themselves or others, and they are unwilling or unlikely to seek treatment on their own.

Task force objectives will include “ending the TDO waitlist, finding rapid placements for individuals under a TDO, releasing police officers from spending significant hours away from patrolling the streets, ensuring the safety of all parties, and setting the stage for lasting systematic change to the way Virginia processes TDOs.”

Youngkin advisor Janet Kelly, who led a similar initiative this year to end the practice of children in foster care sleeping in government offices and other unsuitable locations, will lead the new task force, which will include other public officials involved in the mental health system.

Since 2014, TDO admissions to state hospitals have been spiking, with one state report from the past June finding a 389% rise between fiscal years 2013 and 2019. 

Temporary detention order admissions in Virginia, FY2013-22. (Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services)


That report concluded those increases were “specifically related to” the 2014 bed of last resort law put forward by Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, after his son Gus stabbed Deeds and then killed himself during a mental health crisis. State officials had been unable to find Gus Deeds a psychiatric bed.

Under the bed of last resort law, state hospitals must admit patients subject to a TDO after eight hours if a bed cannot be found at another hospital.

In the wake of the legislation, limited bed capacity and staff shortages have caused large backlogs at state facilities, with patients under a TDO waiting an average of 43.2 hours for a state bed over the last fiscal year. During this time, private hospitals’ share of TDO admissions has also dropped, from 91% of all TDO admissions in the fiscal year 2015 to 76% in 2019.

Problems peaked in July 2021, when Alison Land, former commissioner of the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services, closed five state mental hospitals to new admissions, citing workforce shortages that produced a “dangerous environment where staff and patients are at increased risk for physical harm.”

“The challenges faced by state hospitals are now an immediate crisis for two reasons: First, the level of dangerousness is unprecedented, and second, recent admissions are occurring in an environment that is no longer adequately staffed,” wrote Land in a July 9, 2021 letter.

Staffing has been a perennial problem at the state’s hospitals, with shortages only exacerbated by the pandemic. This May, Littel told the General Assembly’s Joint Commission on Health Care the hospitals were “losing a lot of people to Chick-fil-A” and other companies offering better pay and less stress than positions at state facilities.

The General Assembly agreed to this summer to increase direct care staff salaries by 37% on average using millions in federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars. The boost was in line with a proposal by the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, but less than one put forward by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“The present TDO process has failed by not delivering care to patients when they need it most,” the Youngkin administration said in the Monday release. “The process also contributes significantly to increased workforce burnout within healthcare and extensive hours devoted by our law enforcement.”

by Sarah Vogelsong, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Virginia again takes a shine to gold



The Commonwealth of Virginia traces its roots to the perennial quest for gold. England’s King James I chartered what would become the Virginia Company in 1606 in a colonizing pursuit of gold, spices, and land. While the land was abundant, there were no discoveries of spices or gold.

Renewed buzz about prospects for Virginia gold was prompted by a future U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, publicizing in 1782 the discovery of a 1.8-kilogram gold-bearing rock on the north side of the Rappahannock River. But the precious metal was not found in abundance within the borders of Virginia until the early 19th century.

Two gold nuggets are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History from the mid-19th century Whitehall mine in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The bottom nugget is about 12 cm long. (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian)

Two gold nuggets are on display at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History from the mid-19th century Whitehall mine in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. The bottom nugget is about 12 cm long. (Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian)
Gold mining in Virginia peaked as the third-largest producing state in the country yielded hundreds of commercial caches north of the James River in the 225-kilometer-long Pyrite Belt. Much of the gold from the state was shipped to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, helping to wean the young nation off foreign coinage and private tokens as legal tender. The Virginia boom went bust in 1848 when the California gold rush compelled serious speculators to go west.

Nowadays, there are limited opportunities in Virginia to experience gold fever. Fauquier County’s Gold Mining Camp Museum at Monroe Park in Goldvein allows visitors to try their luck at a sluice after purchasing bags of gems. The park is also home to artifacts found at one of the 19 mines that operated within an eight-kilometer radius.

At Lake Anna State Park in Spotsylvania County, rangers escort visitors to a semi-clandestine spot adjacent to the old Goodwin gold mine to work a pan in a pond and see what washes up.

“I’m going to start to shake and agitate the material because I want the heavy gold to sink to the bottom,” says chief ranger Lauri Schular as she demonstrates the basic technique with pan in hand at the park’s Old Pond.

Those lucky enough to spot specks of gold will, however, leave empty-handed. All discoveries in the Virginia state park must remain on the premises.

Lake Anna State Park Chief Ranger Lauri Schular holds a rock and a pan that are part of the Virginia park’s exhibition on the area’s gold mining history. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Potential prospectors do get a consolation prize from Schular: a free lesson on the benefits of gold, which is a reliable and constant conductor of electricity that does not oxidize.

“That makes it great for all of our electronics that we want to close up and never open. So, don’t go home and take things apart. It’s not going to make you rich. It’s a thin coating,” she explains.

If you want to try to strike it rich in Virginia these days mining for gold, you are going to have to set aside the pan, invest in expensive equipment and persuade a landowner to allow you to prospect.

Paul Busch has accomplished that as Virginia’s only licensed commercial miner and apparently the first one since the late 1940s.


Licensed Virginia gold miner Paul Busch displays a rock tossed aside by previous prospectors that contains enough gold to process with modern technology and higher prices, at his Goochland County, Virginia, reclamation site. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Nineteenth century miners’ trash is his treasure, piled high in Goochland County at the site of a mine with extensive mercury contamination that closed down in 1936. Back then, gold was worth around $35 an ounce (28.35 grams). These days it is about $2,000 an ounce.

“Anything under an ounce per ton on an average to them wasn’t worth running and processing. They knew they were losing 50 to 60 percent of their gold in their tailings already. They could only process 20 tons in 24 hours,” Busch, owner of Big Dawg Resources, explains, standing aside a hill of soil. “Any stone that was underground that they removed that was under an ounce per ton to them was garbage.”

Busch is going through those piles of stones again with machinery he says can extract as much as $800 worth of gold a minute. He is also cleaning up the mercury contamination and filling in any pits and shafts that still may be hazardous.

“There’s the potential for there to be a second gold mining boom to an extent” here, even though Virginia does not have large deposits, according to Busch. “For a small mining operation, there are a lot of veins out there that have been found over the years that could be highly profitable.”

One new discovery in Buckingham County is attracting attention.

“You can see little specks of gold here and there,” says Thomas Ullrich as he peers through a hand lens to inspect a specimen he has chipped off a big rock in Buckingham County.


VOA videographer Adam Greenbaum, left, records Aston Bay Holdings CEO Thomas Ullrich as the geologist uses a hand lens to inspect a rock sample in Buckingham County, Virginia. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Ullrich, a geologist and chief executive officer of Canada’s publicly traded Aston Bay Holdings, has zeroed in on a quartz vein only two meters wide but spanning the length of a couple of city blocks. Several multi-ton boulders are visible above the surface. He discusses the potential of the site alongside one of those quartz-veined metavolcanic rocks that would likely yield nearly a couple of ounces of gold after extraction. At the current market rate, that would add up to nearly $4,000.

“Gold-bearing veins of ounce-plus grade, these have a value of tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s too early to say anything like that about anything here at Buckingham, but we are very encouraged by what we’re seeing so far,” Ullrich tells VOA.

“The success rate for prospects going to mine is very poor,” Ullrich acknowledges. But based on what he has inspected in Buckingham County, “our odds are greatly improved here.”

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Repeal of RGGI marks a turning point in Virginia’s Energy Policy



In a move celebrated by Governor Glenn Youngkin, the State Air Pollution Control Board voted to repeal the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) regulation, following the Governor’s directive outlined in Executive Order 9. Youngkin argued that RGGI was a burdensome tax on families and businesses in the Commonwealth and did not contribute to pollution reduction.

A Return to Power Diversity

Before RGGI was implemented, Virginia witnessed significant growth in electricity generation and almost halved the CO2 emissions per MWh over a decade. The repeal of RGGI aims to return Virginia to these promising trends, providing a more balanced energy policy that does not unnecessarily burden its residents.

The General Assembly in 2020 adopted legislation that allowed the Air Board to adopt regulations requiring Virginia’s participation in RGGI. However, it did not mandate participation, allowing Governor Youngkin to scrutinize the initiative’s impact and decide on its termination.

Under the RGGI framework, power producers in Virginia were obliged to purchase carbon offsets from auctions managed by the interstate compact. The costs of these offsets were then passed onto power customers, impacting all households and businesses in Virginia. Moreover, it failed to incentivize power producers to reduce carbon emissions.

A Vision for Reliable, Affordable, and Clean Energy

Emphasizing the legal authority of the State Air Pollution Control Board to act on this regulatory proposal, Governor Youngkin expressed his vision for an affordable, clean, and reliable energy future for Virginians. This would entail an all-encompassing energy plan, including natural gas, nuclear, renewables, and emerging sources.

The repeal of RGGI, according to Governor Youngkin, will provide regulatory stability and prevent market fluctuations from impacting consumers. It’s a pivotal move towards realigning Virginia’s energy policy with the needs of its residents and businesses, creating a cleaner, more affordable, and reliable energy landscape.

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Bribery conviction upheld for Va. man who offered town $500 to back gaming machines



The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a bribery conviction Tuesday for a Southside Virginia convenience store operator who offered the town of La Crosse a $500 monthly donation in exchange for officials’ support for gaming machines at his business.

Businessman Mamdoh Abouemara was appealing his 2021 guilty conviction in Mecklenburg County, arguing prosecutors hadn’t sufficiently proven he acted with corrupt intent, partly because he made the offer to the town openly.

The appellate court rejected that argument in a 2-1 opinion, ruling that nothing in Virginia law requires quid pro quos to be offered “secretly or surreptitiously” to qualify as an illegal bribe.

“If that were true, the most unseemly, open, and notorious bribes offered to public servants in plain view would be immunized from prosecution,” Judge Stuart A. Raphael wrote for the majority.

The court opinion appears to center on so-called skill machines, the slots-like devices installed in convenience stores throughout Virginia, despite questions about their legality. However, the court opinion only refers to “gaming machines,” and local officials could not confirm Tuesday that the devices at issue were skill machines. The events in the bribery case occurred before the General Assembly voted to ban skill machines in 2021. That ban remains in limbo while the skill-game industry continues to fight the law in court.

Abouemara was sentenced to one year of probation, with a five-year term of incarceration fully suspended.

One of Abouemera’s attorneys, Kevin Calhoun, said the legal battle would continue.

“We are disappointed by the Court of Appeals’ ruling today, but we intend to appeal the case to the Supreme Court of Virginia and to vigorously fight for our client’s conviction to be overturned,” Calhoun said.

The events that led to Abouemara’s legal trouble began when local law enforcement started investigating his store after noticing “many cars” in the parking lot late at night when the store was supposed to be closed, according to court records. In early October of 2019, Abouemara went to the La Crosse town manager’s office to discuss making donations to the town in exchange for a letter supporting the gaming machines.

The town manager at the time, F.A. Hendrick, told Abouemara the town couldn’t take donations directly, but donations could be made to a nonprofit called “Friends of La Crosse” that focuses on civic improvement.

Hendrick said he would take Abouemara’s offer to the town council, and the matter was taken up at a Dec. 9 meeting. The council responded with a resounding no. According to the court opinion, a “garbled” recording of that meeting shows council members laughing after rejecting the proposal.

Abouemara also wrote the town a $200 check, which town officials did not accept. Hendrick had originally testified at trial that the check came after the December council meeting, but the check was dated Oct. 26, and Hendrick later acknowledged he might have received the check before the meeting.

Abouemara was charged with two felony counts of bribery, according to the appellate opinion, but the count related to the attempted $200 donation was dismissed.

The appellate court rejected the defense’s claim that the attempted $200 donation after the town rejected his original proposal shows “the original offer was not a bribe.”

“For instance, his paying $200 once, rather than $500 every month, could well have signaled punishment for the council’s failure to accept the bribe,” Raphael wrote in the majority opinion. “Or the donation could have been a fallback effort to curry favor. Or an attempt to cover up the crime.”

According to court records, on Dec. 15, 2019, law enforcement executed a search warrant at Abouemara’s business and “seized several gaming machines.”

Appeals Court Judge Vernida R. Chaney disagreed with the opinion, writing in a dissent that the majority was taking an overly broad reading of the bribery law by treating the possibility of an informal letter as an official act by the public servants allegedly being improperly propositioned. Her dissent notes that both the donation offer and the request for a letter of support would have been legal on their own, and the mere fact they were linked together doesn’t prove the “requisite intent for bribery.”

“To construe the bribery statute as criminalizing any proposed quid pro quo would absurdly criminalize offers of monetary donations to benefit the community in return for a letter of thanks or a birthday greeting to the community’s oldest citizen,” Chaney wrote. “By construing the bribery statute to criminalize any proposal in which there is an exchange of benefits between the town and a private individual, the majority converts the lawful act of proposing a contract to the town council into a criminal act.”

The majority, however, said the offer became a “completed crime once communicated to the town council.”


by Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Virginia wetlands protections remain robust despite Supreme Court ruling, say enviro groups



Following a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that narrows environmental protections for wetlands, environmental groups say there will be little change in Virginia because of the state’s strong wetlands regulations.

“Theoretically, Virginia has stronger water quality protection than the federal government,” said Peggy Sanner, Virginia director of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Under Virginia wetlands laws and regulations, she said, the state “should be able to continue to protect all the waters of the state, including those that may not be in the federal protections.”

On May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case known as Sackett v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that the wetlands protections in the Clean Water Act apply only to bodies of water with a “continuous surface connection” to larger navigable water bodies, a decision that will greatly reduce the number of wetlands the government can protect.

Previously, wetlands connected to larger bodies through groundwater and intermittent bodies of water that might dry up during portions of the year were protected under the law, which regulates pollution discharges into the nation’s waters.

The Sackett family in Idaho brought the case, who argued they shouldn’t have to obtain an EPA permit to build a house on their property. The EPA had said a permit was necessary because water from the land would run into a ditch that fed into a creek, which fed into a navigable lake.

After an initial loss in the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the family challenged the decision and won its case in the nation’s highest court.

“The wetlands on the Sacketts’ property are distinguishable from any possibly covered waters,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion.

Wetlands are areas where water covers the soil and are broadly understood to encompass swamps, bogs, marshes, and areas around creeks, rivers, lakes, and ponds. They are seen as critical habitats for diverse species of wildlife. Wetlands are also seen as a critical tool to filter out pollutants from reaching larger bodies of water like the Chesapeake Bay and to absorb flooding from sea level rise and stormwater surge before communities are damaged.

While the federal government regulates disturbances of wetlands through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Clean Water Act also gave states the power to impose their own rules for wetlands.

Virginia has its own set of laws under the Department of Environmental Quality and Virginia Marine Resources Commission for wetland protections, established by the Tidal Wetlands Act of 1972 and the Virginia Nontidal Wetlands Act. As the names imply, the Tidal Wetlands Act applies to wetlands in more coastal areas, whereas the Nontidal Wetlands Act applies to inland waters.

DEQ spokesperson Aaron Proctor said the agency is still reviewing the Sackett decision and declined to comment on how it could impact Virginia’s regulations.

Several Virginia environmental groups, however, said strict state laws and regulations will continue to protect Virginia’s wetlands.

The laws require permits for any action that impacts wetlands and mandate that there must be “no net loss” of the resource, explained Chesapeake Bay Foundation Virginia Director Peggy Sanner. To avoid or minimize any loss, permits from DEQ that allow disturbances to wetlands “shall contain requirements for compensating impacts,” which may include requirements to build new wetlands, buy credits from wetland restorers or pay into a fund that is used to restore wetlands, Sanner added.

Virginia’s regulations “made a very strong protection for our waterways where you have the federal government and the state government acting together,” Sanner said. “When you have one of those partners, for whatever reason, bow out, that’s a cause for concern.”

Mary-Carson Stiff of environmental nonprofit Wetlands Watch said that while the impact of the Supreme Court decision on traditional tidal waters isn’t as much of a concern because surface water connections between bodies of water are more easily distinguishable, the effect on non-tidal waters could be greater because of climate change.

With sea level rise, waters from one ditch may jump a road or a floodwall to another land area, explained Stiff, making the new ditch a wetland through a process known as wetland migration. At the same time, coastal areas are experiencing coastal squeeze, resulting from rising sea levels pushing coastlines inland.

“From a climate change standpoint and sea level rise adaptation standpoint that’s focused on natural resource conservation and shoreline ecosystem survival, this is bad news,” Stiff said of the Sackett ruling.

Stiff said that Wetlands also impact other wetlands that may be further downstream or disconnected on the surface but still connected through groundwater.

“If anything happens to our laws in Virginia to weaken our ability to call the wetlands on the other side of the road wetlands, we won’t have a fighting chance to do the appropriate amount of wetlands migration that needs to happen so we have wetlands under sea level rise,” Stiff said.

Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh also raised concerns about the ruling’s impact on areas experiencing sea level rise in his concurring opinion.

“Federal protection of the Chesapeake Bay might be less effective if fill can be dumped into wetlands that are adjacent to (but not adjoining) the bay and its covered tributaries,” Kavanaugh wrote, calling the new interpretation an “overly narrow view of the Clean Water Act.”

But while environmental groups are expressing some concern over Sackett’s effect on wetland protection, the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation has praised the ruling as a necessary reduction of bureaucracy for farmers.

Prior to the Sackett ruling, if a farmer wanted to dig a ditch in his or her field to drain flood waters from a serious storm, the EPA would need to issue a permit for the work in addition to state approval, said Virginia Farm Bureau Vice President of Government Relations Martha Moore.

“We’re very happy with the Sackett ruling. For us, it provides clarity for farmers that don’t require a team of attorneys to try and figure out,” Moore said. “Virginia already has the Chesapeake Preservation Act, and you can’t do anything in those zones. We already have conservation practices, we already encourage the development of wetland mitigation banks. I feel like Virginia already has those protections, and this just added another layer of bureaucracy that you don’t really need.”


by Charlie Paullin, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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How Virginia is spending new state funding to prevent gun violence



The office of Attorney General Jason Miyares plans to hire six prosecutors and group violence intervention coordinators with the $2.6 million in grant funding it received to try to reduce gun crime.

Another $5 million will go toward the extension of a hospital-based violence intervention program meant to help people escape life circumstances that led to them being shot or stabbed.

Virginia State Police plans to spend $256,044 to hire a new analyst at the crime-fighting Virginia Fusion Center, who will use geographic data to help authorities spot and address trends in violent activity.

And more than a dozen local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, and community groups will receive grant funding for a variety of initiatives to stem gun violence in their areas, projects that range from hiring more prosecutors to funding outreach programs for at-risk youth.

A report issued this week by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services lays out how various state and local entities plan to spend roughly $10 million in anti-gun violence funding recently approved by the General Assembly. The new report also includes status updates on $500,000 grants previously issued to the cities of Hampton, Newport News, Portsmouth, Richmond, and Roanoke.

The more recent state funding was awarded through the 2023 Operation Ceasefire Grant Program, which runs from the start of this year through the end of 2024. Ceasefire programs are modeled after an anti-violence model Boston officials implemented in the 1990s that focuses on trying to steer people away from gangs and other activities that make them more likely to be shot or shoot someone while cracking down on those who disregard those efforts and go on to commit violence with a firearm.

Prince William County told the state it intends to use the $353,974 it received to hire a full-time “gun violence interventionist” responsible for implementing the county’s “community-based intervention and prevention initiatives.”

The city of Suffolk said it intends to hire a new prosecutor and “identify high-risk individuals to participate in call-ins, which will provide directed cease and desist messaging.”

Prosecutors in Prince George County and neighboring Hopewell plan to use $249,996 to create a “regional prosecutor initiative,” with a new attorney working in both jurisdictions to “prosecute offenders involved in firearms offenses and gun violence.”

In Southwest Virginia’s Lee County, officials will receive $81,766 for an additional prosecutor focused on guns, violent crime, and “methamphetamine trafficking.”

A handful of nonprofit groups also received state funds for a variety of intervention programs meant to prevent violence before it occurs through mentoring programs, skills training, and mental health support.


by Graham Moomaw, Virginia Mercury

Virginia Mercury is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Virginia Mercury maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Sarah Vogelsong for questions: Follow Virginia Mercury on Facebook and Twitter.

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Virginia DMV issues over three million REAL ID compliant credentials



The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reached a significant milestone with the issuance of over three million REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards. Starting from May 7, 2025, Virginians wishing to board domestic flights using their driver’s license must present a REAL ID-compliant version, distinguished by a star in the right corner. This article explores the implications of this requirement and provides essential information for those seeking to upgrade their credentials.

The REAL ID Act, enacted by Congress in 2005, established federal security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The primary goal was to enhance the integrity and reliability of identification documents used for official purposes, including air travel and access to secure federal facilities. The Virginia DMV has been actively working to ensure its residents are well-prepared for the forthcoming changes.

DMV Commissioner Gerald Lackey emphasized the significance of obtaining a REAL ID: “Many Virginians rely on their state-issued credentials for air travel. If you still need to upgrade to a REAL ID, prepare for your visit now by applying online and gathering the necessary documents. When you arrive at the DMV, we are committed to delivering a personalized, positive experience that exceeds your expectations.”

In addition to domestic air travel, a REAL ID will be required to access secure federal facilities, including military bases. Virginians interested in obtaining a REAL ID are strongly encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as the DMV anticipates a surge in customers as the 2025 deadline approaches. Individuals will receive guidance on the required documents by completing the application process online at

It is important to note that obtaining a REAL ID is optional. Virginians who choose not to upgrade can still use their current driver’s license or identification card. However, upon renewal, their new credential will display the phrase “Federal Limits Apply,” indicating that it is not compliant with the REAL ID Act. For those who need to board domestic flights after May 7, 2025, alternative federally approved identification documents, such as a U.S. Passport, a Passport Card, or specific military IDs, can be used.

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12:00 pm VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
VA State Parks History and Cultu... @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
VA State Parks History and Culture: The Enslaved Community at Mount Bleak @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. In 1860, nearly half of Fauquier County’s 21,706 residents were enslaved, with fourteen enslaved individuals living at the Mount Bleak Farm. Journey through these difficult stories alongside staff, volunteers and costumed interpreters. Explore[...]
1:00 pm Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Jun 17 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Summer Show 2023: Aladdin @ Skyline High School
Italia Performing Arts presents ALADDIN, An Adaptation for Dance of the Traditional Story, with music edited, compiled and arranged by Dr Ryan Keebaugh. Tickets are on sale only through our ticket agency SimpleTix, and not[...]
6:00 pm Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Connecting with the Sun & Season @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Welcome Summer by watching the sunset across the Crooked Run Valley with a special solstice-themed Astronomy For Everyone. Join members of the Northern Virginia Astronomy Club as they use special technology to view the[...]
8:00 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Jun 17 @ 8:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA’s Jet Propulsion[...]