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Everyone in NY Should Have a REAL ID by October 2020

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is setting new restrictions in place for commercial air travel. In order to board a domestic flight, enter a military base or nuclear power plant, or step into other federal facilities after October 1st, 2020, you must have a valid:

  • Enhanced driver’s license or permit
  • S. Passport

The New York State DMV has been offering REAL ID services since October 2017, but many in the state have not taken advantage of these resources. The Department of Homeland Security estimates only 27% of Americans currently have a REAL ID, and a recent poll showed that 43% of Americans do not even know they will soon need a REAL ID to travel out of state.

There is now less than a year to file the application and receive an ID to be compliant with these new regulations, and Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, urges everyone who has not already done so to set an appointment with the DMV.


What Is the Purpose of the REAL ID?

In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses, permits, and ID cards, adopting recommendation made by the 9/11 Commission. States that do not adopt these standards and enforce them for their residents will be penalized – federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will not accept non-compliant cards for official purposes.

Right now, every state in the United States is compliant with the REAL ID Act, though Oregon and Oklahoma have been granted extensions and New Jersey’s program is “under review.”


How Is a REAL ID Different From a Driver’s License?

You must go to the DMV in person to apply for a REAL ID; you cannot apply by phone, mail, or online. The enhanced driver’s license has a cut-out star shape in a black circle, in the top right corner of the card. To apply for a REAL ID or enhanced license in New York, you will be required to bring:

  • Proof of your date of birth (a birth certificate)
  • Proof of your Social Security Number or ineligibility
  • Proof of your identity (valid license, birth certificate or passport)
  • Proof of your U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency, or lawful temporary status
  • 2 proofs of your New York residence (utility bill, bank statement, mortgage – no P.O. boxes)

Every document must be an original or a certified copy. If your name or information doesn’t match on any of the documents, you must bring in court- or government-issued documentation for why the information changed. A new photo of you will be taken to accompany the REAL ID application.

Pollack, Pollack, Isaac & DeCicco, LLP, urges fellow New Yorkers to take care of their federal identification before it is too late. Our New York Immigration attorneys can assist any green card holders or visa holders who require assistance – please call 212-203-4795 to set up a consultation today.


Learn more:

Department of Homeland Security: REAL ID Enforcement: New York

New York State DMV: Federal REAL ID

New York Daily News: REAL ID Deadline

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