ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Starting next year, travelers will need more than a standard driver’s license to be able to fly in the United States.
The Transportation Security Administration will instead require what’s known as “REAL ID”s or enhanced IDs. To card-holders, REAL IDs look like standard ID cards, but they are marked with a star or American flag in the corner.
To help explain the change, Commissioner of the New York State DMV Mark Schroeder joined Monroe County Clerk Jamie Romeo at Frederick Douglass Greater Rochester International Airport Tuesday morning.
He said congress passed the law back in 2005 in order to improve airport security after 9/11.
“There was a commission and the commission came up with rules and guidelines and that is when the Real ID began,” Schroeder said. “So now this is a culmination of us trying to make it very safe for New Yorkers and people in the nation.”
REAL IDs will be required in place of driver’s licenses to board domestic flights and to enter some federal buildings and military bases.
For those attempting to fly domestically, a passport or other TSA-approved method of identification will still be accepted past the May 23 deadline.
Some residents have already started the process, stating that it’s relatively easy.
“It was really simple,” Rochester resident Lorraine Chandler said. “Just like going to get a regular license, nothing fancy.”
Romeo says that Monroe County residents hoping to use their state ID or driver’s license to fly should begin the REAL ID application progress as soon as possible, since it will be done by appointment only.
“The more security we have the better and the easier it is to move around through the airport and get through security on the other side easier,” resident T.M. Rao said. “That’s definitely a good thing.”
To learn more about REAL ID, click here.