How to Obtain Real ID in New York
Congress adopted the REAL ID Act in 2005 as per a 9/11 Commission recommendation and has set minimum federal standards for state issued driver’s licenses and identification cards issued to migrants, as well as charging state license-issuing agencies with enforcing federal immigration law. As such, applicants for immigration status must make complex judgments about their status in the country before providing additional documentation that proves it; often this results in lengthy delays with increased risks of error in places outside New York City where clerks often lack expertise with immigration law.
To obtain a REAL ID, it is necessary to visit your local DMV office personally and present several documents including proof of U.S. citizenship, lawful permanent residency status or temporary lawful status status in the US as well as two proofs of New York state residency. The DMV website features an interactive document guide which will walk you through these requirements and assist in gathering all required items for processing.
To fly domestically or visit certain federal buildings, a REAL ID will be necessary. However, if you only plan on using your ID for travel purposes then retaining your standard New York State driver’s license or permit marked “Not for Federal Purposes” could suffice.