Way back in 2005, Congress passed a new law that was signed by President George Bush (43) that required updates be made to photo IDs that are issued in the United States of America. This was done in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That law, the Real ID Act of 2005, requires state-issued ID to meet certain guidelines in order for residents to be able to do a set of things that are regulated by the federal government.

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New York, like many other states, initially decided not to comply with the law. A negative result of that non-compliance would be that millions of New Yorkers not being able to travel via means that are regulated by the Federal government, like commercial airlines. Since then, New York State officials have decided to comply with the law and give New Yorkers the chance to decide if they want an ID that meets the Real ID standards, or if they want to maintain their regular ID.

The original deadline for that to take effect was October 1, 2021, but thanks to COVID-19, you have a few more years to get it together because the new deadline has been extended to May 3, 2023.

If you don't upgrade your New York State ID to one that meets the minimum required standards, then you won't be able to go into any type of federal building or military base, go on any type of nuclear plant, and most importantly won't be able to board any commercial flight or go into commercial airports.

New York offers 3 levels of identification: Standard, Real ID, and Enhanced. You can get a detailed description of the differences between the 3 IDs on the NYS DMV website. But in order to do any of the things noted above you have to heave either a Real ID or Enhanced.

I don't know about you, but I plan on hopping on quite a few flights once some of the pandemic rules open up. So if you plan on hopping on some flights with me, make sure you get your ID upgraded.

I wouldn't suggest waiting until the last minute, if it's one thing that COVID-19 has taught us, things can change at any time and we should be prepared.

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