ALBANY, NY (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) – The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is encouraging New Yorkers to apply for the REAL ID system now before the deadline arrives in two years. The Department of Homeland Security recently extended the deadline for people to get their REAL IDs to May 7, 2025.

After that date, every United States air traveler over the age of 18 will need a REAL ID or compliant document – such as an Enhanced License or US Passport — to fly within the United States or enter certain federal buildings. The rule was passed by Congress in 2005, following a 9/11 Commission recommendation, and establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

“The REAL ID deadline will be here before we know it, so if your license or non-driver ID is due for renewal, we want you to consider a REAL ID or Enhanced ID and avoid having to upgrade your ID in two years,” DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder said in a statement released Friday, May 5. “We also want to make the process as easy on you as possible.”

To help streamline the process, the DMV has implemented an online pre-screening process, which will allow applicants to submit their applications and proof of identification before visiting. After the papers are submitted – whether online or in-person – the DMV will inform the applicant of any possible errors and provide the next steps.

Once the application is approved, the applicant will be alerted and asked to finalize their application at a local DMV office, which will include a photo.

New Yorkers whose license or ID is up for renewal will be able to get a REAL ID at no additional cost. Those who wish to upgrade before their renewal date will pay an additional $12.50.

For more information on the REAL ID system and to find your local office, you are encouraged to visit the DMV website at