With Six Months to Federal Deadline, DMV is Reminding Travelers to Get REAL ID

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) reminded New Yorkers Thursday that in six months, a standard license or non-driver ID will no longer be accepted for flights within the US. As a requirement of the federal REAL ID Act, travelers will need a REAL ID, an Enhanced ID or a passport to board domestic flights, starting May 3, 2023.


As part of a multi-faceted public awareness campaign, DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder has been traveling across the state to spread the word about the upcoming deadline. He was joined by officials from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration at New York Stewart International Airport. Commissioner Schroeder will also hold an event on Saturday at a club for the deaf in Rochester to advise their members and the community about the upcoming deadline and to answer their questions.


The Commissioner has previously visited airports in Albany, Rochester, Plattsburgh, Westchester, Binghamton, Elmira/Corning and Syracuse. Additional events are scheduled at LaGuardia Airport, Long Island MacArthur Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport.


The federal law requires those who are applying for a REAL ID to do so in person.  To make the process as easy for New Yorkers as possible, DMV customers who visit select offices can now get their application for a REAL ID or Enhanced ID digitally pre-screened prior to visiting the DMV. Customers who take advantage of this option will know whether they have all the required paperwork and verification documents they need to successfully complete their transaction, before ever going to a DMV office and will save time when they get there.


This new pre-screen option is available to customers who complete their transaction at a DMV office in New York City, on Long Island, or in Westchester, Albany, Rockland, Onondaga, Chemung and Schenectady counties.


New Yorkers can get their REAL ID or Enhanced ID applications pre-screened by visiting the DMV website. Before beginning the process, we recommend that customers complete the DMV Document Guide to find out what they will need to have handy and ready to upload during the pre-screening process. Once they know what they need, customers should gather the required documents listed on the document guide checklist.


After submitting an application for pre-screening, customers will receive an email with instructions to fix any errors and next steps. Once an application is approved, we will alert the customer to schedule their in-person visit at a participating DMV location on a date and time that is convenient for them.


An Enhanced ID is acceptable for REAL ID purposes and can also be used instead of a passport to return to the US by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean.


Many DMV offices require customers to make a reservation, which customers can do online at dmv.ny.gov/offices/.


DMV has issued guidance to help customers avoid the top 5 most common mistakes people make when getting a REAL ID. One of the important reminders is to provide documentation if your name has changed.


For more information about REAL ID and Enhanced Driver Licenses, visit dmv.ny.gov/REALID and watch the DMV’s REALID informational videos on YouTube.


To learn more about the NYS DMV, visit dmv.ny.gov, or follow the DMV conversation online at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.