Albany, NY - May 6, 2016 - The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has submitted a plan to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that keeps New York State compliant with REAL ID laws.
The plan calls for giving New Yorkers the option of getting one of three ID documents, including a new REAL ID document that DMV will begin producing no later than January 1, 2019, at the same cost as a regular license. The proposal is still being considered by the federal government and is subject to change.
“All New York State IDs are currently acceptable to use for REAL ID purposes, such as getting into federal buildings and for use to board domestic flights,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “We anticipate that all documents now issued will remain acceptable until October 1, 2020, and that New Yorkers in the coming years will have the choice of either a REAL ID-compliant ID or other IDs that best suit their needs for the same cost. We are committed to doing all we can to ensure customers understand their options and have the best experience possible at the DMV.”
The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress after 9/11 that establishes specific federal requirements for state-issued driver licenses and identity cards to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic flight. Although it was passed in 2005, it will not fully go into effect until 2020.
REAL ID-compliant IDs require applicants to show proof of citizenship or legal presence, which must be done in person in DMV offices. The DMV will continue to offer a non-federal driver license and ID cards for out-of-state military personnel, college students and others using secure procedures, but they will not be able to be used for REAL ID purposes.
Under the plan submitted to DHS, no later than January 1, 2019, DMV will issue three licenses/non-driver ID cards:
- REAL ID licenses/non-driver ID cards – These licenses will be marked with a star and can be used as the sole ID for domestic flights and to access federal buildings. New Yorkers can continue to use their standard licenses until they expire (before October 1, 2020). Once REAL ID licenses are available, New Yorkers can come into DMV offices to get REAL ID licenses, if they want to, when their current licenses expire. New Yorkers will need to present proof of identity, U.S. citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S., and state residency to obtain REAL ID licenses. Costs for this document will be the same as current costs for a standard driver license or non-driver ID.
- Enhanced Driver Licenses/non-driver ID cards (EDL) – DMV will continue to offer the option of getting an Enhanced Driver License, or EDL. The EDL is fully acceptable for REAL ID purposes, costs an additional $30, and serves more purposes, such as re-entry into the U.S. at land and sea borders. New Yorkers have had the option to obtain an EDL since 2008, and DMV will continue to offer that choice going forward. Click here to learn more about how to get an EDL.
- Non-federal licenses/non-driver ID cards – These licenses will be issued to customers – using DMV’s existing requirements – who opt not to renew in a DMV office, or who choose not to obtain a REAL ID-compliant document. These documents cannot be used for federal identification purposes. New Yorkers holding non-federal licenses after October 1, 2020 will not be able to board domestic flights or access federal buildings without a secondary proof of identification as approved by DHS.
DMV announced in October 2015 that DHS granted New York State a one-year REAL ID extension. As long as New York State has an extension or is deemed compliant with REAL ID, all license documents issued by New York State are acceptable for domestic flights and for access to federal buildings until October 1, 2020.
Frequently asked questions about REAL ID can be found on the DHS website.