Lighthouse Travelers
Latest posts by Lighthouse Travelers (see all)

Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the federal government will require those boarding domestic flights to carry a driver’s license or another identification card that is Real ID compliant.

However, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers residents two options: a standard Real ID or an Enhanced ID.

So what’s the difference between the two?

Both the Real ID and Enhanced ID will allow travelers to board domestic flights and enter some federal buildings.

However, Enhanced ID’s will also allow residents to cross the United States land and sea borders from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries, without the need for a passport.

Enhanced ID’s do not authorize air travel between these countries, strictly land and sea travel. Passports are still required for all international flights.

Real ID’s are marked with a star logo in the top-right corner, with Enhanced ID’s featuring a banner that reads “Enhanced,” along with an American flag in the bottom-right corner.

Standard ID cards, which are still valid for all other purposes outside of domestic flights and entering federal buildings, now feature the phrase “Not For Federal Purposes” in the top-right corner.

Those who wish to obtain a Real ID must go to a DMV office. You cannot get a Real ID online, by phone, or through the mail.

There is no additional cost to get a Real ID. However, all normal transaction fees still apply. An Enhanced ID will cost an extra $30, in addition to the normal transaction fees.

Valid U.S. Passports are already Real ID compliant and can continue to be used to board flights.

The DMV lists the following documents needed to obtain a Real ID or Enhanced ID:

  • 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 original 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.
  • Proof of your date of birth.
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the United States.
  • Two different proofs of New York State residence, such as utility bill, bank statement or mortgage statement (a P.O. Box not acceptable).
  • If the name on your license, permit, or non-driver ID application does not match the name on your proof of identity, lawful status, and Social Security, you must bring in court- or government-issued proof documenting the event causing your name change(s), such as a marriage license, divorce decree, adoption, or court-order document.

For more information on obtaining a Real ID or Enhanced ID, visit the DMV website.

Source: NYS Department of Motor Vehicles
Photo: New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

Lighthouse Travelers

Lighthouse Travelers is committed to offering travel services of the highest quality so you can relax and enjoy your vacation. We offer custom-designed travel packages including flights, lodging, all-inclusive resorts, cruises, guided tours, theme parks, car rental and more.