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Here's When NYers Need To Have REAL ID To Take Domestic Flights

New Yorkers will soon need a REAL ID or enhanced drivers license to board domestic flights. Photo Credit: TSA
This video highlights the differences between the new REAL ID, the Enhanced Driver License, and the traditional New York State license and non-driver ID.
This video highlights the differences between the new REAL ID, the Enhanced Driver License, and the traditional New York State license and non-driver ID. Video Credit: NYS DMV

New Yorkers planning to take a domestic flight are going to have to “get real" within the next 10 months if they hope to board their plane.

Beginning on Oct. 1, 2020, a standard New York State driver’s license won’t be enough to get on even a domestic flight, and although that is months away, the DMV is encouraging residents to get ahead of the game.

There are now three different forms of driver’s license or New York State identification, a standard - which will not be enough to board a domestic flight alone come October next year - enhanced, or the REAL ID license, which is in coordination with a new law aimed to increase security to travelers.

The REAL ID will feature a star in the corner of the license. The REAL ID will also become the standard for entering federal facilities. The requirements came following recommendations by the 9/11 Commission.

The DMV has been encouraging New Yorkers to start transitioning to the REAL ID, including the issuance of a Youtube promotion (which can be seen above) and mailing information. There has also been tables set up with information at prominent New York airports in an effort to ensure residents have enough time to get the new ID.

According to a new study by the U.S. Travel Association, 57 percent of people said they were unaware of the October 2020 deadline for domestic air travel, with approximately 39 percent saying they currently have zero Real ID-compliant documents.

In order to obtain a REAL ID, one must go in person to the DMV with proof identity and proof of New York State residency. There is no additional fee. There is a $30 fee to get an enhanced license, which can be used in lieu of a passport to enter Canada, Mexico and some Carribean countries by land or sea.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, they have been “working with states for years around REAL ID compliance and have provided technical assistance, grants, and other support to them. (They) are also providing more than two years advance notice of implementation with respect to domestic air travel to allow ample time for all states to achieve compliance, or for potential air travelers to acquire an alternate form of ID if their state does not comply with REAL ID.”

If a traveler cannot provide a REAL ID, they will not be permitted through the security checkpoint, TSA noted.

“REAL ID is available at all DMV offices statewide and we encourage you to get your new license or non-driver ID today, especially if you are renewing or applying for the first time,” DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said in a statement. “Getting a new REAL ID requires an office visit, and we expect lines to grow as the deadline approaches. Don’t delay – get your REAL ID today.”

Complete details about the REAL ID from the DMV can be found here .

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