Real ID or Enhanced or Standard Driver's License: Which is Right for You?
Updated: Nov 5
You have most likely been receiving notifications from the Department of Motor Vehicles about REAL IDs and Enhanced Driver's Licenses and wondering if you should upgrade to one of these instead of keeping or renewing your regular driver's license. The correct answer: it depends.
If you are someone who's always traveled a lot, only the Enhanced or REAL ID will be accepted to board a domestic flight, unless you have a passport. The same is true if you are someone who regularly needs to enter federal buildings or military bases. This was set to start on October 1, 2020 but because of the Covid pandemic, that date has been postponed until October 1, 2021.
The benefits of an Enhanced Driver's License and a REAL ID are similar, except that only an Enhanced Driver's License can be used for border crossings from Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries into the U.S. (note: it is not acceptable for air travel between these countries). There is an additional $30 fee in addition to the regular transaction fees you'll need to pay at the DMV office. Watch the video above to learn more about these new options.
If you're a New Yorker, be sure to visit the NYS-DMV website to learn about the identification documents you'll need to receive these upgraded types of identification (https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/get-enhanced-driver-license-edl)
An Enhanced Driver's License will have an American flag displayed on it, a REAL ID will have a white star against a black background displayed on it, and a standard driver's license will have "NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES" displayed on it.
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