NYS driver licenses won't be enough to fly in 16

Posted at 4:27 PM, Sep 10, 2015

If you're planning to fly next year, your flight plans could be grounded if you don't have the proper ID. The typical New York State license isn't going to cut it when federal security rules take effect.

"The determination from Homeland Security is that the standard New York State driver license will not be compliant to the REAL ID Act," Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs said.

The REAL ID Act is a recommendation from the 9/11 Commission that sets up a "minimum standard" for safety across the country to prevent terrorism.

The Department of Homeland Security reports New York State is one of five not compliant with the REAL ID system. The lack of compliance comes after the state paid millions for upgraded black and white driver licenses.

"The question is, why did they go to these new driver licenses and pay all that money, when you basically have the same result?" Jacobs wondered.

"Sounds like a play to make more money," Patrick Tandy said before boarding a flight downstate. He's using an older New York State license. Under the REAL ID rule, he'd need additional documentation, like a passport, to travel.

"Why should I have to pay twice for the same right or privilege?" Tandy questioned.

On the other hand, James Miller is back in Buffalo. From Florida, he'd have no problem traveling because Florida has already issued those enhanced licenses in accordance with the federal standard.

"I think nowadays, security is probably one of the most important things you look for," Miller said.

A spokesman for the state DMV says it has not received any guidance from the federal government about when the new form of ID will be required. For now, the spokesman stressed a regular license is still sufficient ID to fly.

7 Eyewitness News reporter Ed Drantch asked the spokesman if the state is considering picking up the tab for those folks who would get a new enhanced license. The spokesman said there is no talk of that whatsoever.






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