The new ID will be required for domestic flights next year and it requires a lot more documentation than a regular license.
Starting in October 2020, U.S. citizens won’t be able to take domestic flights without a REAL ID or a passport. The law was passed by Congress in 2005 as a way to establish minimum security standards for state-issued IDs. The deadline was set by the Trump administration after the law was opposed by states under George W. Bush and not enforced under Barack Obama.
The REAL ID will become mandatory for domestic flights, to enter military bases and other certain federal sites, but is not required to get a driver’s license, voting or to receive federal benefits.
“Our goal is to make the transition to a REAL ID as simple as possible for our customers,” said Terri Egan, DMV executive deputy commissioner. “To do that, we have created a handy online document guide that shows customers everything they need to bring with them to be properly prepared for their visit.”
You can find the document guide by clicking here.
The program is opposed by the ACLU, which says it is a thinly veiled attempt to create a national ID, and says it will allow the federal government to collect even more information on residents, as well as put an burden on state governments to issue the ID cards.
REAL IDs don’t look much different from a standard New York State driver’s license, and the license itself doesn’t have any new information. But in order to receive one, you have to go to the DMV and prove your identity, your New York residency, your lawful presence in the country and your Social Security status. Doing this gets you star icon on your license, which means its REAL ID compliant.
Unlike regular license renewals, getting a REAL ID requires an in-person visit to the DMV. It has caused long lines and delays at some DMVs, especially in New York City, as the New York Post reported. If you’re thinking about making the switch, make sure to plan ahead.
When you go to the DMV to get your REAL ID, there are a few documents you have to bring with you. And they need to be originals, not copies:
- Proof of identity, such as valid license, birth certificate or passport, with your full first, middle and last name. This name will be displayed on your card as required by federal law.
- Proof of Social Security Number or Social Security Number ineligibility. If you have a New York State driver license or identification card, you must bring your Social Security Card or a letter from the Social Security Administration proving your ineligibility to have a social security number. If you lost your Social Security Card, you must get a duplicate before you come to the DMV.
- Proof of your date of birth.
- Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the U.S.
- Two different proofs of New York State residence such as utility bill, bank statement or mortgage statement (P.O. Box not acceptable). This address will be displayed on your card.
- If the name on your license, permit or non-driver ID application does not match the name on your identity, lawful status and social security proofs, you must bring court- or government-issued proof documenting the event causing your name change, such as a marriage license, divorce decree, adoption or court order document.
New York also now offers Enhanced IDs. These documents are REAL ID compliant and offer all the same benefits, and they additionally allow you to use them as ID to cross the border from Canada, Mexico and some Carribean countries without needing a passport, but only by car. Enhanced IDs cost an additional $30.