Press Release - 12-20-2018

DMV News

December 20, 2018

Lisa Koumjian
[email protected]

Tim O’Brien
[email protected]



New Outreach Added to Existing Efforts to Educate Travelers at Albany and LaGuardia International Airports

DMV Launches Third Educational Video to Inform New Yorkers About REAL ID

B-Roll and Soundbites Available Here


The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today it has expanded its public outreach at airports across the state to ensure New Yorkers are informed about the REAL ID.  In time for the busy holiday travel season, trained DMV staff will be on-hand at four airports, including Syracuse Hancock and Long Island MacArthur International Airports, to answer questions and educate air travelers about the REAL ID.  The DMV’s airport outreach efforts began in July at Albany International Airport and later expanded to LaGuardia International Airport.

Beginning October 1, 2020, the federal REAL ID Act will require air travelers to have REAL ID-compliant documentation to fly within the United States.  The Act already requires a REAL ID to enter certain federal buildings.

“Our partnerships with these airports have become a tremendously effective way to spread the word about the REAL ID Act, and make sure New Yorkers are prepared for the October 2020 deadline,” said DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan.  “We have chosen to partner with Syracuse Hancock, MacArthur, Albany and LaGuardia because they offer many domestic flights and serve a high volume of New Yorkers daily.  They offer the ideal settings to connect directly with customers and reach thousands of air travelers in a short amount of time.”

Three days per week, at peak travel times, DMV staff visit all four airports to help travelers understand what a REAL ID is, why they may want or need one, and how to get a REAL ID in New York.  In addition to operating a REAL ID informational table to distribute brochures and other educational materials about the REAL ID, staff provide personalized, one-on-one attention to travelers with specific questions about what state-issued document is right for them. 

In New York, customers have three options, the REAL ID or non-driver ID, Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced non-driver ID, which are both REAL ID-compliant, and the standard New York State License or standard non-driver ID, which are now marked “not for federal purposes.” 

To further help the public understand what the REAL ID is, the DMV created a new informational video.  The video is used as an educational tool by the DMV as well as community groups throughout the state. 

Previously, the DMV created a video highlighting the differences between the REAL ID, Enhanced, and the standard documents.  A second video is being utilized in state-run DVM offices, at travel hubs throughout New York, and on social media to raise awareness.  All three videos are available on the DMV’s YouTube page.

The DMV’s robust public awareness campaign also includes outreach through mail inserts sent directly to customers, social media, public events, and a dedicated REAL ID webpage.  In addition, the DMV 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.

Federal regulations require customers to visit a DMV office to present the appropriate proofs and get a new photograph taken when applying for a REAL ID. The cost to get a REAL ID is the same as getting a standard license or non-driver ID.

The Enhanced Driver License or non-driver ID, which have been available to New Yorkers since 2008, also meet federal REAL ID standards. An Enhanced document 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. 

New York State first offered the REAL 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.

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About the REAL ID Act

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.