Press Release - 10-30-2018

DMV News


Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

Tim O’Brien
[email protected]



More Than One Million New Yorkers Have Opted for REAL ID-Compliant Documents

Beginning October 1, 2020, Standard New York State License Will Not be Accepted for Domestic Air Travel Without Additional Documentation

DMV Expands Partnerships with Local Airports to Raise Awareness and Answer Common Questions


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today marked the one-year anniversary of the REAL ID becoming available in New York.  The state first offered the ID to customers on October 30, 2017. To date, more than one million New Yorkers have opted for a REAL ID-compliant driver license or non-driver ID. Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal REAL ID Act will require air travelers to have REAL ID-complaint documentation to fly within the United States.  The Act already requires a REAL ID to enter certain federal buildings.

“We began offering the REAL ID three years before the federal law takes effect to give New Yorkers ample time to get one,” said Terri Egan, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner. “Because of our successful early adoption of the REAL ID, we have even been asked by other states for helpful tips on implementing their own REAL ID. We will continue working hard to inform New Yorkers about the federal requirements, and we encourage anyone renewing or obtaining a license or non-driver ID for the first time to get a REAL ID and avoid a second trip to the DMV before October 2020.”

To educate the public about the REAL ID, the DMV has implemented a robust public awareness campaign that includes outreach through mail inserts sent directly to customers, social media, informational videos, public events, and partnerships with airports across the state. 

The DMV began its partnership with Albany International Airport and has since expanded to LaGuardia and Stewart International Airports. Three days per week, at peak travel times, DMV staff visit these airports to answer questions for thousands of flyers and to give them information about how to get a REAL ID in New York. Connecting with customers in this setting offers an ideal opportunity to inform many travelers at one time. DMV expects to add at least two additional airport locations later this year.

The DMV has also created a dedicated REAL ID webpage and launched a step-by-step online document guide to help New Yorkers ensure they have the required documents to apply for a REAL ID before they visit the office. These have been effective tools for easing customer frustrations, increasing their understanding of the federal requirements, and eliminating the need for customers to make return trips to the DMV, which helps to significantly reduce wait times in the offices.  As of October 1, 2018, nearly 1.7 million customers had completed the document guide, and the REAL ID webpage had been viewed more than 1.3 million times. 

Earlier this year, the DMV won an award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) for its user-friendly document guide. In addition, the Department has issued guidance to customers on ways to avoid the top 5 most common mistakes when applying for a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver License (EDL).

The cost to get a REAL ID is the same as getting a standard New York State license or non-driver ID, which are now marked Not for Federal Purposes. To apply for a REAL ID, federal regulations require customers to visit a DMV office to bring the appropriate proofs and get a new photograph taken.

The Enhanced Driver License, which has been available to New Yorkers since 2008, also meets federal REAL ID standards. An EDL costs an additional $30 and can be used as identification when returning to the United States from Canada, Mexico and some countries in the Caribbean. 

For more information about REAL ID and Enhanced Driver Licenses, visit

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