Travelers from New York, New Jersey will need REAL ID to fly domestically in 1 year

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Thursday, May 5, 2022
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If you're a resident of New York or New Jersey and you've put off getting a REAL ID now is a good time to update your license.

Travelers flying out of either state will need a REAL ID to fly domestically in just one year.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 set a deadline of May 2023 for all travelers to upgrade to the federally approved driver's license.

"REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of driver licenses and identification cards," Robert Duffy, TSA's Federal Security Director for LaGuardia Airport said.

Duffy said the improvements are to help TSA to prevent terrorists from using fake IDs.

A New Jersey REAL ID driver's license is identified with a small star in the upper right corner, while the New York ID has a star in a black circle in the same corner.

"Travelers are not required to get a state-issued REAL ID, however, starting May 2023, if you typically use your driver's license or non-driver ID to fly within the United States then you probably want a REAL ID," said Thomas Carter, TSA's Federal Security Director for New Jersey.

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In New Jersey, the REAL ID costs $35 while a standard-issue license is $24.

New York state residents have the option of getting a REAL ID or an enhanced ID.

The REAL ID is enough to fly domestically without a passport, but the enhanced ID can be used instead of a passport for travel to Canada, Mexico, and some Caribbean countries.

A REAL ID doesn't cost any more than a standard ID in New York, but those seeking an enhanced ID will pay an extra $30.

While it's not required for travelers to upgrade to a REAL ID if they don't have one they will need a passport or other federally approved ID to fly domestically.

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