The REAL ID and ENHANCED ID have been a long time coming. This new identification standard started its winding road in 2005, the year congress passed the REAL ID Act. The basic idea of the REAL ID Act was to make IDs more secure and more consistent across states. It was created because the 9/11 Commission recommended that the Federal Government be more discerning about what kind of identification they allowed for entering government buildings, military bases, or for plane travel.
The deadline to have the REAL ID or ENHANCED ID to board a domestic flight is October 1, 2021. After that time, you may no longer use a standard ID or a standard driver’s license to board a plane.
The original deadline was October 1, 2020 but due to COVID-19 that date has been extended a full year.
There is a subtle difference between the ENHANCED ID and the REAL ID. The ENHANCED ID allows cardholders to cross land or sea borders with Canada, Mexico, and some places in the Caribbean without a passport. The REAL ID does not allow this and would require a passport to enter into and come back from Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
The New York DMV requires an appointment/reservation for all transactions that cannot be done online. Getting a REAL ID or an ENHANCED ID requires making an appointment with the DMV to go in and present your personal identification documents for review. Keep in mind that renewing ENHANCED driver’s licenses or REAL IDs is more costly than renewing a standard driver’s license.
A new photo will be taken at the time you present your documents. You will also need to submit to a vision screening at that time as well.
If you are still unsure about what documents to bring there is a handy document guide on the DMV website that will help you pinpoint exactly which documents you need to bring.
So that is it! Make an appointment, grab your documents, your glasses (if you need them), and head over to your local DMV to switch to an ENHANCED or REAL ID today!