About Federal REAL ID

Which option is best for me?

ATTENTION MOTORISTS: Your standard New York State license or ID card will not allow you to fly starting October 2021. Get a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver License now!

All driver licenses, permits and ID cards will remain acceptable for domestic flights and for access to federal facilities until October 1, 2021. 

Both the new REAL ID document and the already available New York Enhanced Driver License (EDL) will be accepted for federal REAL ID purposes.

To ensure customers have all the documents they need for your visit, the NYS DMV has created an inter-active document guide that will walk you through what documents you are required to bring and provides an option to print the list for your convenience. 



Passed by Congress in 2005, 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.

What REAL ID means to you

Beginning on October 1, 2021, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or enter military bases and certain federal facilities. You may also use an Enhanced driver license, permit, or non-driver ID or valid U.S. Passport or other identification acceptable to the federal government.

Please visit www.dhs.gov for more REAL ID information.

If you are looking for information on how to apply for an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL) click here.

Getting a REAL ID is NOT mandatory

A REAL ID is optional and is not needed for the following:

• Being licensed to drive
• Voting or registering to vote
• Entering Federal facilities that do not require a person to present identification
• Applying for or receiving Federal benefits
• Accessing health or life preserving services (including hospitals and health clinics), law enforcement, or constitutionally protected activities (including a defendant’s access to court proceedings)
• Participating in law enforcement proceedings or investigations

Which ID is Right for Me?

New York State DMV will begin issuing REAL ID licenses, permits, and ID cards on October 30, 2017

To get a REAL ID, you will need to go to a DMV Office on or after October 30, 2017. You cannot get a REAL ID online, by phone, or through mail.
You can get a REAL ID license, permit or ID card at any time on or after October 30, 2017 when you:

• apply for the first time (original)
• renew
• replace
• amend (change information like name)
• exchange a license from another state

You MUST bring to the office the following original or certified proof documents:

• 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 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 (birth certificate), lawful permanent residency or temporary lawful status in the U.S.
• Two proofs of New York State residence such as utility bill or mortgage statement (P.O. Box not acceptable). This address will be displayed on your card.

NOTE: If name on certified copy of birth certificate is different from current proof of identity, you MUST bring in a certified copy of marriage certificate(s), divorce decree(s) or court order document(s).

To ensure customers have all the documents they need for your visit, the NYS DMV has created an inter-active document guide that will walk you through what documents you are required to bring and provides an option to print the list for your convenience. 

A trip to your local Erie County Auto Bureau is required to have a new photo taken and to present the required original or certified proof documents that prove your full legal name and New York State residency, among other things, is required by federal regulations. You may also bring a completed Form MV-44 for your convenience.  

At present we are unable to process a REAL ID or Enhanced Driver License/non-Driver ID at any of our Mobile locations. Please visit any of our main or satellite office locations to complete this type of transaction. 

Cost for a REAL ID

The cost to get a REAL ID is the same as getting a standard New York State license or non-driver ID, which are now marked Not for Federal Purposes.  If processed at renewal or first issuance, there is no additional cost to obtain a REAL ID. 

If you want to apply for an Enhanced Driver License or Enhanced ID Card, there is an additional $30 fee. If you do not want a REAL ID If you decide you do not want a REAL ID or Enhanced document, please be advised that any license, permit or ID card issued after October 30, 2017 will be marked “Not for Federal Purposes”.

See ID Samples 

New Rules for REAL ID (starting in October, 2021)
Document Type Enhanced (EDL) REAL ID Standard
Identification X X X
Boarding a plane, entery into Federal Building or Military Base X X  
U.S. Border Crossing X    


If you have a U.S. Passport, it can be used for identification, boarding a plane for domestic and international flights, and entry into a federal building or military base.

What About Children Under 18? 

TSA does not currently require children under 18 years old to provide identification when traveling with a companion within the United States. The companion will need acceptable identification. 

However, specific airlines may request proof of the child's age, such as a birthcertificate, passport, passport card or state-issued identification, but this is NOT regulated by TSA. Contact the specific airline for more information. Please visit www.tsa.gov for more information. 

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