Have an Enhanced License? You won’t need a REAL ID: Your Stories

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SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Drivers in Central New York should expect even longer wait times at local DMV offices over the next year, as people rush in to upgrade their licenses.

A federally-approved ID will be required by October 2020 for anyone boarding a flight (even within the United States) or anyone to access a federal building, including the Federal Building in Downtown Syracuse.

New York State offers three kinds of identification cards, two of which will work for the federal mandate.

  1. Enhanced Driver’s License (meets REAL ID requirements)
  2. REAL ID (meets REAL ID requirements)
  3. Standard License (won’t work for REAL ID requirements)

Enhanced Driver’s License

The Enhanced Driver’s License is considered the “gold standard” in New York State. In addition to allowing people across the border into Canada or Mexico via car instead of a Passport, it meets all REAL ID requirements.

This option costs $30 more than the other options, a total of $94.50.

Because the Enhanced Driver’s License acts as a Passport and meets REAL ID requirements, more identification paperwork is needed.

See “Documents Needed for Enhanced License and REAL ID” below.


The REAL ID costs the same as the standard license renewal: $64.50.

The REAL ID acts as a federal document, meeting the REAL ID Act standards, requiring more identification paperwork.

See “Documents Needed for Enhanced License and REAL ID” below.

Standard License

The Standard License does NOT meet the REAL ID Act requirements and will not be valid identification for entering a federal building or boarding any flight (even within the United States) starting in October of 2020.

The Standard License allows a New Yorker to drive and is acceptable identification for local police officers and purchasing alcohol.

The standard license renewal costs $64.50.

The only document needed for this renewal is the expiring driver’s license.

Documents Needed for Enhanced License and REAL ID

Note: Some documents will meet more than one requirement. For example, a valid driver’s license will offer proof of identity, proof of birth date and one proof of NYS residence.

  • Proof of Identity
    Valid license, birth certificate or passport, with full first, middle (if applicable) and last name. This name, as it appears on your proof of identity, will be displayed on your card as required by federal law.
  • Proof of Social Security Number
    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. If you lost your Social Security Card, you must get a duplicate before you come to the DMV. The Social Security Administration website has more information on obtaining a duplicate card.
  • Proof of your date of birth
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the U.S.
  • Two different proofs of New York State residence
    Utility bill, bank statement or mortgage statement (P.O. Box not acceptable). This address will be displayed on your card.
  • If the name on license, permit, or non-driver ID application does not match the name on identity, lawful status, and social security proofs, you must bring in court or government issued proof(s) documenting the event(s) causing your name change(s) such as a marriage license(s), divorce decree(s), adoption, or court order document(s).

The application process also requires the DMV to take a new photo.

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