Federal REAL ID

You DO NOT need to get a REAL ID now

DMV expects that all driver licenses, permits and ID cards will remain acceptable for domestic flights and for access to federal facilities until October 1, 2020.  New York began issuing the REAL ID document on October 30, 2017. You can convert to a REAL ID at any time.

Both the new REAL ID document and the already available New York Enhanced Driver License (EDL) will be accepted for federal REAL ID purposes.



Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses, permits and ID cards. The Act also prohibits federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), from accepting cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.


What REAL ID means to you 

Beginning on October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or enter military bases and certain federal facilities. You may also use an Enhanced driver license, permit, or non-driver ID or valid U.S. Passport or other identification acceptable to the federal government. 

 Please visit www.dhs.gov for more REAL ID information.


Getting a REAL ID is NOT mandatory 

A REAL ID is optional and is not needed for the following:

  • Being licensed to drive
  • Voting or registering to vote
  • Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
  • Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
  • Accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
  • Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations 


New York State DMV began issuing REAL ID licenses, permits, and ID cards on October 30, 2017 

To get a REAL ID, you will need to go to a DMV Office. You cannot get a REAL ID online, by phone, or through mail.  

You can get a REAL ID license, permit or ID card when you:

  • apply for the first time (original)
  • renew
  • replace
  • amend (change information like name)
  • exchange a license from another state

 You MUST bring to the office the following original or certified proof documents: 

  • Proof of identity, such as valid license, birth certificate or passport, with your full first, middle (if applicable) and last name. This name will be displayed on your card as required by federal law.
  • Proof of Social Security Number or Social Security Number ineligibility.  If you have a valid NY license, permit or ID card, you must bring your social security card or W-2 with full SSN.  If you do not have a New York State driver license or identification card, you must bring your Social Security Card or a letter from the Social Security Administration proving your ineligibility to have a social security number.  If you lost your Social Security Card, you must get a duplicate before you come to the DMV. The Social Security Administration website has more information on obtaining a duplicate card.
  • Proof of your date of birth.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the U.S.
  • Two proofs of New York State residence such as utility bill or mortgage statement (P.O. Box not acceptable). This address will be displayed on your card. 
  • If the name on your license, permit, or non-driver ID application does not match the name on your identity, lawful status, and social security proofs you must bring in court or government issued proof(s) documenting the event(s) causing your name change(s) such as a marriage license(s), divorce decree(s), adoption, or court order document(s). 

 The application process also requires the DMV to take a new photo. 

To help you with your proof documents, complete this guide to make sure you have what you need before going to an office.

find out what documents you need to bring to an office


Cost for a REAL ID

There is no additional cost to get a REAL ID. All normal transaction fees still apply.

If you want to apply for an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card, there is an additional $30 fee.


If you do not want a REAL ID

If you decide you do not want a REAL ID or Enhanced document, please be advised that any license, permit or ID card issued after October 30, 2017 will be marked “Not for Federal Purposes”.

Sample of Enhanced, REAL ID, and Standard License

Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard Licenses 


Summary of the three document types

Document Type




Displayed on documentFlag displayed on EnhancedStar displayed on REAL ID documentsNot for Federal Purposes displayed on Standard documents
Boarding a domestic (U.S.) flight, entering a Federal
Building or Military Base (starting October, 2020)
U.S. Border Crossing from Canada, Mexico and some
Caribbean countries

*If your document was issued before October 30, 2017 and is not Enhanced, you have a Standard document.

Learn more about Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard documents.


If you have a U.S. Passport, it can be used for identification, boarding a plane for domestic and international flights, and entry into a federal building or military base.

Under 18 years old 

TSA does not currently require children under 18 years old to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification. Please visit www.tsa.gov for more information.