COLONIE — State Department of Motor Vehicles branches are bracing for a new federal requirement regarding identification of airline passengers.
The change stems from the 9/11 commission, which concluded that more comprehensive forms of identification would mitigate terrorist attacks on flights.
At a press conference Thursday, DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan launched an awareness campaign for the REAL ID initiative. New Yorkers who want to travel by air with their state licenses will need a REAL ID or enhanced driver's license starting Oct. 1, 2020.
The enhanced license would be valid for international flights to Canada, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean in place of a passport.
Passports, Egan noted, will still be an effective form of identification for foreign and domestic flights.
“REAL ID is available at all DMV offices statewide, and we encourage you to get your new license or non-driver ID today, especially if you are renewing or applying for the first time,” the deputy commissioner said.
Egan encouraged New Yorkers not to wait, with the state expecting a bottleneck effect at DMV branches around late summer 2020.
The process reportedly takes around 20 minutes, according to the DMV, but applicants need to bring proofs of identification, such as Social Security cards, that would not be necessary for a simple renewal of a license.