REAL ID: The deadline for new air travel application is less than 6 months away | Tech US News

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – Have you gotten your REAL ID from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) yet?

After the deadline was delayed twice due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Americans now have less than six months to acquire a REAL ID, the new form of identification that will soon be required for domestic air travel.

Here’s what you need to know about REAL ID-compliant identification:

What is a REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the Real ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses, permits, and identification cards. The law also prohibits federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), from accepting cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.

The enhanced driver’s license, driverless permit or ID, and valid US passport are now REAL ID compatible and can be used to board a flight.

When will REAL IDs be required?

Beginning May 3, 2023, the federal government will require REAL ID-compliant identification to board federally regulated commercial aircraft and access certain federal facilities, such as courthouses.

How to get a REAL ID?

Those interested should visit their state’s driver’s license agency to obtain a REAL ID.

The DMV offers residents two options: a standard REAL ID or an enhanced ID.

Both Real ID and Enhanced ID will allow travelers to board domestic flights and enter some federal buildings.

However, the enhanced IDs will also allow residents to cross U.S. land and sea borders from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries without the need for a passport.

Enhanced IDs do not authorize air travel between these countries, strictly land and sea. Passports are still required for all international flights.

Real IDs are marked with a star logo in the upper right corner, with the Enhanced ID with a banner that says “Enhanced”, along with an American flag in the upper right corner.

New York Enhanced Identification

The Enhanced ID includes a banner that says “Enhanced,” along with an American flag in the upper right corner. (Image from New York DMV)

Those who wish to obtain real identification should go to a DMV office. You can’t get real ID online, over the phone, or through the mail.

There is no additional cost to obtain real ID. However, all normal transaction fees still apply. An enhanced ID will cost an additional $30 in addition to normal transaction fees.

The DMV lists the following documents required to obtain a Real ID or an Enhanced ID:

  • Proof of identity, such as a valid driver’s license, birth certificate or passport, with your full name, middle (if applicable) and surname. This name will appear on your card in accordance with federal law.
  • Proof of the ineligibility of the Social Security Number or the Social Security Number. If you have a valid New York license, permit or ID card, you must bring your original Social Security card or W-2 with the complete SSN. If you do not have a New York State driver’s license or identification card, you must bring your Social Security card or a letter from the Social Security Administration attesting to your ineligibility for a social security number.
  • Proof of your date of birth.
  • Proof of US citizenship, lawful permanent residence, or temporary lawful status in the United States.
  • Two different proofs of New York State residency, such as a utility bill, bank statement, or mortgage statement (a PO Box is not acceptable).
  • If the name on your license, permit, or ID application does not match the name on your proof of identity, legal status, and Social Security, you must provide court or government-issued proof documenting the event that caused the change of name (s), such as a marriage license, divorce decree, adoption document or court order.

Is a REAL ID required?

The New York DMV states that REAL IDs are not required, but recommended. REAL ID is optional and not required for the following:

  • Have a license to drive;
  • Vote or register to vote;
  • Entering federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification;
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits;
  • Access health or life-sustaining services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to legal proceedings);
  • Participate in police processes or investigations.

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has interactive tools and videos on its website to help Americans determine if they should get a REAL ID.

More information can also be found on the New York DMV website.

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