Real ID license: How to get one in NYC as deadline approaches

Do you have your REAL ID yet? 

There's less than a year remaining before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security begins enforcing the requirement. All states, the District of Columbia, and the five territories are REAL ID compliant and are issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and IDs.

How and where do you get one in NYC? Why do you need one? Here's everything you need to know.

Real ID requirements

To apply for a REAL ID, travelers should visit their local DMV office, and fill out the online application and upload their documents. Customers must visit a DMV office and bring their uploaded documents to complete the application. 

At a minimum, you must provide documentation showing:

  1. Full legal name
  2. Date of birth
  3. Social security number
  4. Two proofs of your address of principal residence
  5. Lawful status

For more information, click HERE.

DMV mobile units

In addition, two DMV mobile units will travel to various locations in New York this year, so residents can upgrade without visiting a DMV office. Here are the locations:

  • NYC DCAS 35th Annual Equipment and Vehicle Show (May 16)
  • Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach State Park (May 25 – May 26)
  • Queens Public Library (June 4, June 20, July 10)
  • Colonie Center Mall (June 8, August 10)
  • Hempstead Lake State Park (June 8)
  • Sunken Meadow State Park (July 6, July 20)
  • Jones Beach State Park (July 13 – July 14)
  • Robert Moses State Park (July 27, August 3)
  • Altamont Fair (August 13 – August 18)
  • New York State Fair (August 21 – September 2)

Additional dates and locations will be added throughout the summer. No appointments are necessary.

For more information, and what documentation is needed, click HERE.

Enhanced ID vs Real ID

Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) are considered acceptable alternatives to REAL ID-compliant cards and will also be accepted for official REAL ID purposes. Most EDLs do not contain the star marking and this is acceptable.

For a detailed comparison of which ID is right for you, click HERE.

Do you need a REAL ID to fly in the US?

According to the DHS, U.S. travelers must obtain a REAL ID to board flights within the United States and access certain federal facilities.

If you are traveling domestically, you will only need one valid form of identification – either your REAL ID or another acceptable alternative such as a passport – not both.

Do I need a REAL ID to travel internationally?

If you are traveling internationally, you will still need your passport. 

The REAL ID does not replace a passport for international travel, but it does ensure that you can continue flying within the U.S. and access secure federal locations without additional documentation.

REAL ID deadline

In 2022, DHS announced an extension of the deadline until May 7, 2025. 

This means, starting May 7, 2025, a Real ID, or other federally approved identification, will be necessary to board domestic flights.

What is a REAL ID?

Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005 to establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards following a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission.

Older IDs will be suitable to allow people to drive, buy liquor or other age-regulated products, and gamble at casinos. Travelers also can use military IDs or passports to access flights and federal facilities.

How long is REAL ID good for?

Check with your local DMV office to find out how long your Real ID is valid for.

Stephanie Weaver, with FOX Digital, helped contribute to this report.