Rensselaer County Clerk: deadline for upgraded ID to fly delayed

January 02, 2018 06:35 PM

TROY -  If you thought DMV was overwhelming BEFORE, it's now, even more so.

"It's a little much," laughs Joe Thomas who visited the DMV office in Troy on Tuesday for a license renewal.

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When renewing your license - or getting one for the first time - New Yorkers will now be given three options: the standard license which allows you to drive and purchase alcohol or tobacco.  The Real ID, which can be used to board domestic flights or the Enhanced Driver's license, which can be used to fly domestically and travel by land or sea internationally in the Western Hemisphere.

"I have a passport, so why do it," questions Charles McCabe, who was also getting a new license Tuesday.

DMVs have been flooded with people, frantic to upgrade their licenses because of an upcoming trip.  But the Federal Government granted New York an extension and a Real ID or Enhanced license won't be needed to fly until 2020.  The confusion is understandable, however, because there are signs at airports reminding people about the Real ID requirement and even airlines, when booking tickets, mention upgraded identification.

"People are coming through the doors, thinking they have to do it today to get on a's 2020, that's when the cutoff date is," explains Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola. 

Even then, the standard license will work to fly if you have additional identification.

"I didn't see any reason to get an enhanced one," adds McCabe.

For more information about the differences (and the paperwork required) for a standard license, Real ID or Enhanced License, check out the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle's website.


Abigail Bleck

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