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License or passport? REAL ID change happening in 2023, but here’s why not everyone will need to upgrade

Beginning May 3, 2023 if you’re flying identification has to meet new federal standards.

For most New Yorkers that means upgrading to Enhanced, or REAL ID.


The state has very clear language on what’s happening with Enhanced and REAL ID licenses. However, they are less specific about an alternative, which could save many New Yorkers some money.

“After May 3, 2023, only the Enhanced or REAL ID will be accepted to get on a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or to enter certain federal buildings or military bases (unless you have a passport or another federally-accepted form of ID).”

– New York State Department of Motor Vehicles

That’s right, a passport or other federally-accepted form of ID will do the trick when traveling domestically.

Passports are more expensive and take 2-3 months to process. That said, for many frequent travelers- a passport is a better option. Even after the REAL ID changes go into effect.


Here are some resources from the state DMV

Click here if you want to check out the differences between all license options in New York State.



Categories: New York StateNews

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