Long lines, even longer wait times, grumpy employees, and lots of headaches - that usually sums up a typical trip to the DMV. 

There’s tons of places we’d rather be than at a New York State DMV office (stuck in traffic and a teeth cleaning both come to mind). But the fact is, we’ve all got to deal with the hassle of the DMV at one time or another - especially if you’ve got plans to hop on a plane in the next few years.

New York State Real ID

Why You Need To Get A NYS REAL ID

Soon, our regular drivers license won’t cut it anymore if you’re looking to fly anywhere in the United States. 

Beginning May 7, 2025, anyone 18 and older will need a REAL ID, Enhanced ID, or passport to fly domestically.

Congress actually passed the Real ID Act back in 2005 in order to set federal standards for ID cards. However, the due date to enforce them kept getting pushed back thanks to lack of funding, possible travel interruptions, and, oh yeah, a global pandemic. 

Now that the date to get a REAL ID is right around the corner, New York State is encouraging residents to get theirs sooner rather than later to avoid a scramble at the deadline. 

For anyone else who dreads going to the DMV, New York State has made it easy to get your REAL ID or Enhanced License without having to go back to one of their offices over and over again. 

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How Much Does A New York REAL ID Cost?

If your license or ID is up for renewal, you can upgrade to a REAL ID at no additional charge beyond the standard renewal fee. If you want to grab one before that, it will cost you an extra $12.50. 

This Is The Easy Way To Get A REAL ID Or Enhanced License In New York State

The DMV has launched an online portal for New York State residents in certain counties looking to obtain a REAL ID, enhanced license or non-driver ID, allowing you to submit your application, proof of identification, and proof of residency documents before you even step foot inside one of their locations. 

In order to use it, you’ll need to set up an account with NY.gov (and if you’ve already got one, make sure you know your username and/or password). 

These Counties Offer Online Tool For REAL IDS In New York State

Unfortunately, this helpful portal isn’t yet available for every New York State resident, but the following counties can save some time at the DMV by uploading the necessary documents ahead of time:

  • Albany 
  • Broome 
  • Bronx
  • Chautauqua
  • Chemung 
  • Clinton 
  • Columbia 
  • Dutchess 
  • Erie 
  • Franklin 
  • Kings 
  • Madison 
  • Nassau 
  • New York 
  • Niagara 
  • Oneida
  • Onondaga 
  • Orange
  • Oswego 
  • Queens 
  • Richmond 
  • Rockland 
  • Saratoga 
  • Schenectady 
  • Schoharie 
  • St. Lawrence 
  • Suffolk 
  • Tompkins 
  • Wayne 
  • Westchester

If the county where you live isn’t listed, you can still check online to see which specific documents you need to bring to the DMV office with you to apply. 

65 Obnoxious Banned License Plates In New York State

Here are some of the crude, hilarious, and off-the-wall personalized license plates that were denied in New York state in 2022.

Gallery Credit: Megan Carter/Canva

New York State's New Regional License Plates

Now you can get a customized picture license plate to make your hometown proud.

Gallery Credit: NYS DMV/Canva

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