Take another look at your driver’s license


If you prefer to use your licence to board a plane, you now have until Oct. 1, 2020, to make sure you have one with a Real-ID star: The Transportation Security Administration says it’s finally cracking down under requirements passed into federal law 15 years ago.

New York, New Jersey and many other states also issue “softer” driver’s licenses that don’t require as much hard proof of identity, and so lack the added star. But it won’t get you on a plane.

One thing to keep in mind if you need to upgrade: You’ll need to go in person, preferably with an appointment; the Department of Motor Vehicles can’t issue Real-ID licenses any other way.

Ironically, this crackdown comes even as New York and New Jersey are both poised to pass laws that will allow undocumented immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses — though those will inevitably be the second-tier, non-Real-ID, type.

Then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer tried to make the same reform back in 2007, but failed in part because immigration advocates didn’t like the idea of two tiers. Now, thanks to the feds, it’s the best they can hope for.

[Read More]