REAL ID vs Enhanced vs Standard Drivers License
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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    REAL ID vs Enhanced vs Standard Drivers License

    I have heard about the driver license changes over the years, but never really paid much attention to the details as my and my wife's licenses were not due for renewal until 2019. I also knew that ID for boarding an airplane was "going to change" but the actual dates were constantly pushed back. Well the actual date is now October 1, 2020.

    Well, my wife's license was due for renewal first, and mine later in the year, so we planned to "understand everything" and renew her license during the
    Christmas holiday break this year (like right now).

    For New York, here's what we found out:
    Standard License: Just for driving, cannot be used for Federal ID purposes like entering a Federal building or boarding a domestic bound airplane after 10/1/2020. Can be renewed by mail/electronically or in person at DMV.

    REAL ID License: Driving, CAN be used for entering Federal buildings, CAN be used for boarding a domestic bound airplane after 10/1/2020. As I understand it, you MUST apply in person at DMV, you need to bring proof of citizenship (valid passport, certified birth certificate) and you must bring 2 proof of address. Cost is the same as a standard license and the time spent at DMV.

    Enhanced ID License: Same privileges as a REAL ID license, with the addition of CAN be used to enter US from Canada, Mexico and Caribbean by "land or sea", but not by air. This is the same as the current "passport card". Cost is $30 more than standard/REAL ID license, and you must go to DMV. Note that getting a passport card also costs $30 more than just the passport book. (in NY licenses are good for 8 years, and passports are good for 10 years ... not much difference, but a passport card is a better deal but then you have to carry a second card)

    Since my wife had to go to DMV anyway, I decided to renew my license at the same time, and I had the time this week because I'm home from work for the holidays. We already have passport cards, and intend (probably) to again get passport cards in the future since our daughter lives in upstate NY and about 45 minutes to the Canadian border. Though if we think we're going to leave the country, we usually plan to take our passports, but when we're visiting daughter, a spur of the moment road trip can sometimes come up. So we decided to both get Enhanced licenses.

    We'll probably carry both if we leave the country so if we happen to lose our wallet, we'll have an easier time getting back into US.

    So here's what came up just before we went to renew ... Enhanced ID licenses will contain an RFID chip, similar to the passport card. We store our passport cards in RFID protected envelops when not immediately needed. We carry our licenses everywhere we go, and now should we have to worry about scanners stealing the RFID information from our licenses?

    I guess we plan to keep our licenses in RFID blocking sleeves in our wallets, but that seems to be a bother, or we're going to buy RFID blocking wallets.

    It's a done deal for us, Enhanced licenses are on their way, but I just wanted to get some opinions.

    Oh BTW, before you go to DMV, check your state's DMV website to see what you will need to upgrade your license if you decide to do so. We saw one guy wait about 30 minutes to get to the counter, only to be told he didn't have enough "proof" to get the Enhanced license he needed. He'll have to come back and wait again.

    And your particular state may be different than New York, so be prepared before you go.

    Except for the line at our "normally empty" local DMV office, it was basically a painless procedure. And though I renewed 10 months early, my new expiration month and day did not change, so I didn't lose the time doing it early.

    Just my 2 cents. (Sorry for the long post)
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    My wife renewed hers a short time ago. For the extra $30 I said forget it.
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    I have to renew my license by my birthday in Feb. State DMV sent me a letter that I got just the other day with all of the Real ID info. I have everything I need for my "proof" that I'm real so I'll probably just get one. I don't travel often and have a passport anyway but... That's the way things are going in the long run. Cost is same for regular license or Real ID.
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    Senior GTT Super Slacker Gizmo2's Avatar
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    I thought it kinda strange that NY now needs proof of who I am after issuing me a license for soooooo many years.
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    JD4044M's Avatar
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    Just another way to get more money from us and invade our privacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tomfive View Post
    I have heard about the driver license changes over the years, but never really paid much attention to the details as my and my wife's licenses were not due for renewal until 2019. I also knew that ID for boarding an airplane was "going to change" but the actual dates were constantly pushed back. Well the actual date is now October 1, 2020.

    Well, my wife's license was due for renewal first, and mine later in the year, so we planned to "understand everything" and renew her license during the
    Christmas holiday break this year (like right now).

    For New York, here's what we found out:
    Standard License: Just for driving, cannot be used for Federal ID purposes like entering a Federal building or boarding a domestic bound airplane after 10/1/2020. Can be renewed by mail/electronically or in person at DMV.

    REAL ID License: Driving, CAN be used for entering Federal buildings, CAN be used for boarding a domestic bound airplane after 10/1/2020. As I understand it, you MUST apply in person at DMV, you need to bring proof of citizenship (valid passport, certified birth certificate) and you must bring 2 proof of address. Cost is the same as a standard license and the time spent at DMV.

    Enhanced ID License: Same privileges as a REAL ID license, with the addition of CAN be used to enter US from Canada, Mexico and Caribbean by "land or sea", but not by air. This is the same as the current "passport card". Cost is $30 more than standard/REAL ID license, and you must go to DMV. Note that getting a passport card also costs $30 more than just the passport book. (in NY licenses are good for 8 years, and passports are good for 10 years ... not much difference, but a passport card is a better deal but then you have to carry a second card)

    Since my wife had to go to DMV anyway, I decided to renew my license at the same time, and I had the time this week because I'm home from work for the holidays. We already have passport cards, and intend (probably) to again get passport cards in the future since our daughter lives in upstate NY and about 45 minutes to the Canadian border. Though if we think we're going to leave the country, we usually plan to take our passports, but when we're visiting daughter, a spur of the moment road trip can sometimes come up. So we decided to both get Enhanced licenses.

    We'll probably carry both if we leave the country so if we happen to lose our wallet, we'll have an easier time getting back into US.

    So here's what came up just before we went to renew ... Enhanced ID licenses will contain an RFID chip, similar to the passport card. We store our passport cards in RFID protected envelops when not immediately needed. We carry our licenses everywhere we go, and now should we have to worry about scanners stealing the RFID information from our licenses?

    I guess we plan to keep our licenses in RFID blocking sleeves in our wallets, but that seems to be a bother, or we're going to buy RFID blocking wallets.

    It's a done deal for us, Enhanced licenses are on their way, but I just wanted to get some opinions.

    Oh BTW, before you go to DMV, check your state's DMV website to see what you will need to upgrade your license if you decide to do so. We saw one guy wait about 30 minutes to get to the counter, only to be told he didn't have enough "proof" to get the Enhanced license he needed. He'll have to come back and wait again.

    And your particular state may be different than New York, so be prepared before you go.

    Except for the line at our "normally empty" local DMV office, it was basically a painless procedure. And though I renewed 10 months early, my new expiration month and day did not change, so I didn't lose the time doing it early.

    Just my 2 cents. (Sorry for the long post)
    Thanks for the post, wasn't really aware of all this.

    Sounds like it might be easier to just claim you're an illegal (whoops, undocumented) alien seeking asylum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I thought it kinda strange that NY now needs proof of who I am after issuing me a license for soooooo many years.
    It's not that they don't recognize your handsome self, you just have to prove you're a US citizen which you never had to to get a drivers license. You don't need to upgrade to a REAL ID, you can just continue getting a standard license, just that it won't be enough proof of ID. Progress ... I guess.

    Just my 2 cents.
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    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmo2 View Post
    I thought it kinda strange that NY now needs proof of who I am after issuing me a license for soooooo many years.
    Quote Originally Posted by JD4044M View Post
    Just another way to get more money from us and invade our privacy.
    Agree wholeheartedly with both of you. I went to Mexico and Canada many times and never needed anything more than drivers license, birth certificate and so much money per diem. I'm not paranoid but why this new card that tracks your whereabouts as loyal American citizens? It is a revenue source and a way of big brother to keep tabs us. You can't get on a plane without one and I suspect soon you won't be able to vote either without one. I smell a rat here. I was at DMV the other day to help a dyslexic fried fill out forms and it took 1/2 hour for one person to get theirs and several others rejected after waiting just as long and not having all the documentation. DMV sucks and the new ID sucks in my opinion. I value anonymity!
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    This sucks my license is good to 2022 and I paid for that to last that long. Now they say I can't get into a airport with it after 2020 and a federal building wonder if that means a VA Building??? So will they give me my prorated money back to get the new one? Bet they don't and I just lose and Washington State gains again with more rules to follow! They will never stop doing this till you don't even have cash anymore then see what happens when the system is hacked!!

    A standard driver’s license or I.D. card costs $54. An enhanced driver’s license or I.D. card will cost $78. All are valid for six years.
    In order to obtain an enhanced document, you’ll need documents providing your citizenship, identity, residence and a Social Security number. All documents must be originals or government-certified copies.
    Proof of citizenship can be a passport or passport card, a certificate of naturalization or citizenship, or a birth certificate. For identity, a U.S. passport, driver’s license, state-issued I.D. card, U.S. military I.D. or government employee I.D. will work.

    To verify your Social Security number, you can bring a Social Security card or a pay stub or W-2 form with your Social Security number visible.
    You need two documents to prove residence in Washington state. Those can be a Washington school transcript or report card from a previous or current school year, a bill dated within two months, a Washington voter card, a pay check or stub within two months or several other documents. The full list can be found at WA State Licensing (DOL) Official Site: Home.
    Last edited by JD4044M; 12-30-2018 at 02:27 PM.
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    Somebody above mentioned that you didn't have to provide proof of citizenship to get a driver's license - but when I got mine many years ago, my mother had to go with me to the DMV and show them my birth certificate. Shouldn't that have been proof enough???

    I got my driver's license renewed back in September - a month overdue from my August birthday. It wasn't until I got to the DMV that I found out about all of this, although I'd heard they were going to require it sometime. But I thought that I'd heard that Ohio's licenses already met whatever standard was supposed to be met. I went ahead and renewed mine as "standard" knowing that I'll have to go back at some point and do it all again. I fly enough for work that I'm going to HAVE to do this - or use my passport... which is also expired.
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