NEW YORK — As Memorial Day weekend kicks off the unofficial start to the summer season, the Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging New Yorkers to prepare for their future travels by getting the REAL ID.
“There are less than 500 days until the REAL ID law takes effect,” said Acting DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “That may seem like a long time, but it will go quickly. We urge New Yorkers to get one today while travel is top of mind, so their future travel plans are not impacted.”
Though REAL IDs are not mandatory, they are encouraged.
A REAL ID-compliant document such as a REAL ID, Enhanced Driver License or a U.S. Passport will be needed to fly within the United States starting October 1, 2020.
In New York, the REAL ID driver’s licenses will have a star in the upper right hand corner to indicate it meets federal regulations that establish minimum security standards. Enhanced driver’s licenses have a U.S. flag on the bottom right of the license.
The enhanced IDs, which are $30 plus regular transaction fees, are good to board a plane as well as enter the U.S. by land or sea to cross into the country from Canada Mexico, or the Caribbean.
There is no additional cost to get a REAL ID. All normal transaction fees still apply.
New York and New Jersey residents have the option to upgrade to a REAL ID if their license doesn’t currently have a star, or they can opt to keep their standard driver’s license. However, without the star, the standard driver’s license will not be valid to board a flight or access secure facilities.
REAL IDs and non-driver identification cars are available at DMV offices statewide.