This is a friendly reminder that you now have less than a year to upgrade to a Real ID. If you want to fly or enter federal buildings, you'll need to upgrade your New York State license soon.

The deadline for U.S. citizens to get a REAL ID or enhanced ID is less than 10 months from today on May 3, 2023. The New York Department of Motor Vehicles 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

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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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.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
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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.

New York State Driver's Licenses Get Fresh Look, Security Updates

New York State's Department of Motor Vehicles unveiled its new driver's license and identification design. There are new security features incorporated into the cards. If you apply for a new license or I.D., to replace it you'll receive one of the new cards. They are designed to prevent tampering and counterfeiting.

NYS DMV
NYS DMV
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This new design is the first update made by the DMV since 2013. The security updates can be seen and felt on cards. Images and text on the cards have been embossed, to make them easy to detect by touch. The microchip on the enhanced driver license and non-driver ID is exposed. Upgrades have also been made to the images on the cards,

Both the clear windows within the document and the state seal have been redesigned using a process called multiple laser imaging. The process involves engraving two images into the card so that the image being seen changes when viewed at different angles. In addition to the motorist’s photo, the image now displays their birth month and year when viewed at a different angle.

NYS DMV
NYS DMV
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