If you want to fly or enter federal buildings, you'll need to upgrade your New York State license soon. The Department of Motor Vehicles is reminding New York residents that they will need to upgrade their licenses and identification. The deadline for U.S. citizens to get a REAL ID or enhanced ID is exactly a year from today on May 3, 2023. Even though the deadline is a year, the DMV is encouraging people to get their IDs sooner, rather than later. Real IDs will be required for domestic flights, to enter federal buildings and military bases.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for license issuance and production and prohibits certain federal agencies from accepting for certain purposes driver’s licenses and identification cards from states not meeting the Act’s minimum standards. ~ Department of Homeland Security

REAL IDs in New York State cost $30. Enhanced IDs issued by the state will be allowed in place of REAL IDs, which don't have an added cost if you are upgrading from a standard ID. You can compare the features of each of the IDs here, so you can choose which is right for your needs. A passport can be used for travel in place of a REAL ID.

In order to upgrade, you will need to provide the following proof to the DMV:

- Social Security status (There are options that you can provide as proof)
- 2 documents that provide proof of NY State Residency (NY State driver's license, permit, or non-driver ID, bank statement, utility bill, U.S. high school photo ID and report card, U.S. pay stub)
- Proof of name including, but not limited to a valid U.S. Passport, U.S. government-issued birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card I-551

You can go through the process and get all of the proof options here.

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