Press Release - 07-26-2018

DMV News


July 26, 2018

Lisa Koumjian            
[email protected]       



A REAL ID-Compliant Driver License, Permit or Non-Driver ID is Required to Enter Certain Federal Buildings and Beginning October 1, 2020, Will Be Required to Board Domestic Flights 


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued a list of the top five mistakes that customers make when applying for a REAL ID and offered tips on how to avoid them. These errors can cause a customer’s application for a REAL ID to be delayed or denied, requiring them to make multiple trips to the DMV.

“Our goal is to make the transition to a REAL ID as simple as possible for our customers,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner.  “To do that, we have created a handy online document guide that shows customers everything they need to bring with them to be properly prepared for their visit.  We also have staff out in force this summer at certain airports and large public events to educate New Yorkers about this new federal requirement. When customers come prepared for their visit, it alleviates frustrations for them, reduces wait times for other customers and helps our staff provide the highest level of customer service.”

According to the federal REAL ID Act, beginning on October 1, 2020, those wishing to fly within the U.S. using their New York State-issued ID will need a REAL ID or Enhanced License, permit or non-driver ID.  That requirement is already in place at military bases and certain other federal buildings.  Both the REAL ID and Enhanced documents are considered REAL ID-compliant. 

A REAL ID is available at DMV offices statewide and the cost to get one is the same as getting a standard New York State license, permit or non-driver ID. All standard ID cards are now marked Not for Federal Purposes. 

More information about REAL ID and the differences between the Enhanced, REAL ID and Standard License are available on the DMV website.

Customers applying for a REAL ID or Enhanced document should follow the tips below to avoid a second trip to the DMV.

The top five mistakes are:

  1. Not Providing Proof of Middle Name or Name Change

    If a middle name appears on some but not all of a customer’s documents, they must bring a government-issued document such as a social security card, birth certificate or U.S. passport to provide proof of their full legal name. 

    In addition, if a customer’s first or last name has changed due to marriage, divorce or a court granted name change, they must provide documentation showing proof of the name change.  For example, if a customer’s maiden name appears on their birth certificate but their married name appears on their social security card, then they must provide an original government-issued marriage certificate showing the reason for the change.  If a customer’s name has changed multiple times, they must provide proof of each change to show the connection.
  2. Bringing Photocopies Instead of Original Documents

    As part of the federal requirements for getting a REAL ID, customers must visit a DMV office to have a new picture taken and present original documents that prove their full legal name, New York State residency and social security number, among other things.

    Customers must bring original documents to the DMV such as their original birth certificate, social security card or government-issued marriage certificate.

  3. Not Checking the Online Document Guide Before Visiting the DMV

    The award-winning DMV document guide, which can be found at, will show customers exactly what documents they need to bring for their visit, such as a utility bill, U.S. Passport, and more.  The document guide also allows customers to print the list of documents they need.

    Outdated or expired documents will not be accepted.
  4. Using Nicknames

    Many DMV customers commonly use nicknames, abbreviated names or confirmation names when applying for a New York State issued license or ID card.  Federal requirements do not allow DMV to issue REAL IDs to customers under any name other than their full legal name.  If a nickname, abbreviated name or confirmation name appears on any of the customer’s proof documents, they must show additional proof of their full legal name, or proof of a court-granted name change.
  5. Not Providing Appropriate Proof of Residency

    Customers applying for a REAL ID must provide two proofs of New York State residency.  A New York State License, Permit or Non-Driver ID Card, a recent bank statement, or a recent paystub showing the customer’s current New York State address are among the acceptable proofs of residency.  Documents with a P.O. Box listed cannot be accepted.  DMV will accept certain electronic documents such as a utility bill, credit card statement or paystub if they are printed. 

    Additionally, some documents issued after a certain date will not be accepted.  For example, a bank statement or utility bill that is provided as proof of residency must have been issued within 120 days of the customer’s visit to DMV. 

    Customers should use the DMV document guide to confirm which proofs they need to bring.


To further educate customers about the federal REAL ID requirements, DMV created a video highlighting the differences between the Enhanced, REAL ID, and Standard New York State license and non-driver ID card. 


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