The REAL ID Act will go into effect on May 7, 2025. This means that when you fly within the United States (also called “Domestic travel”), you will need to have a REAL ID compliant document.
You have several options:
- ENHANCED DRIVER’S LICENSE or ENHANCED NON-DRIVER ID
Requires a trip to the DMV. Cost: To upgrade from the present license: $42.50; if applying at the time of a license renewal, add $30 to the cost of the renewal. Valid for 8 years if getting it at time of renewal. Limits travel to within the U S, Canada, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean by LAND & SEA ONLY! Does not allow foreign air travel. Required Documents: Certified Birth Certificate, valid License or non-driver ID; Social Security card; 2 proofs of NYS residency; proof of any name change throughout your lifetime (could include marriage certificates, divorce decrees, court ordered name change, etc).
- REAL ID LICENSE or REAL ID NON-DRIVER ID
Requires a trip to the DMV. Cost: To upgrade from the present license : $12.50 No additional fee if applying at time of renewal. Valid for 8 years. Accepted for boarding a domestic flight or entering a federal building. Does not allow travel to Canada or Mexico or foreign AIR travel. Takes about 2 weeks from day of application. Required Documents: All of the same as Enhanced License above.
Requires a trip to a Passport Facility (by appointment at County Clerk’s Office or some Post Offices). Cost including processing and photos: $180; for person 16 and older; $150 for person under 16; Renewal of Passport: $130 +photo and postage. Unlimited travel to anywhere in the world by land, sea or land. Presently takes about 6-9 weeks from date of application for routine processing, 3-5 weeks for expedited processing. Documents required: Completed Passport Application, at least one check or money order per person, Certified Birth Certificate (or U S Passport), and valid Driver’s license or Non-driver ID.
Requires a trip to Passport Facility (by appointment at County Clerks Office or at some Post Offices) Cost: $65; Valid for 10 years; Limits travel to within the U.S, Canada or Mexico, parts of the Caribbean by Land and Sea only (It has the same travel restrictions as the Enhanced License above). Does not allow foreign air travel. Presently taking about 6-9 weeks from the date of application. Documents required: Certified U S Birth Certificate (or U S Passport); and valid Driver’s License or Non-driver ID.
Note: I expect the DMV and the County Clerks Offices to be extremely busy starting in December of 2022. As people begin to make travel plans, they learn that they will have to obtain a REAL ID compliant document prior to their travel. I highly recommend obtaining your REAL ID document prior to making any travel plans that include air travel in, and outside of the country. START EARLY!!!!