Last month, we reported that NY State driver's licenses would no longer be valid identification for domestic flights, starting sometime in 2016. That was thanks to the REAL ID Act of 2005, which requires flyers to have proof of citizenship before getting on any commercial flight—since you don't have to prove you're a U.S. citizen before getting your license in New York, the state is in violation of that act, invalidating that identification. Thankfully, the Department of Homeland Security has granted us an extra year to use our drivers licenses to fly, so you don't have to suffer through taking a passport photo just yet.
The Department of Motor Vehicles told us last month that they were in talks with DHS in hopes of earning an extension, and it looks like those discussions have been productive—yesterday, the DMV and DHS reached an agreement that will give NYers another year to fly with a standard license. "This extension guarantees that New Yorkers will be able to use their driver licenses or ID cards as they did before," DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan said in a statement, noting that the department is still working with federal officials to smooth over any REAL ID bumps.
In addition to New York state, Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, and American Samoa are all deemed "non-compliant" with the REAL ID Act.
Still, if you're a U.S. citizen and applying for a new license or looking to get yours renewed, you may want to opt for an Enhanced Driver's License (EDL). That costs an extra $30, but security theater isn't free. The EDL complies with the REAL ID Act and is also valid identification if you're traveling in and out of Canada and Mexico by land or sea. It's also not a bad idea to apply for a passport, which will come in handy both when the REAL ID Act officially goes into effect and when President Trump forces all the losers and ugly people into exile.