Real ID and Migrants in New York

Real ID and Migrants in New York

Congress adopted the REAL ID Act in 2005 based on recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, setting minimum security standards for driver’s licenses, permits and identification cards issued by states. Certain federal agencies including TSA cannot accept them for official purposes.

New Yorkers must decide, for the first time ever in our nation’s history, whether to upgrade from their standard DL/ID to a REAL ID by May 2023 or later. While the DMV was closed during some early months of pandemic activity, it reopened its doors in October and has been working tirelessly to upgrade all eligible customers as quickly as possible.

Migrants will find this process challenging as they must present original passport or birth certificate, two forms of proof of citizenship documents, as well as any work authorization documents (if applicable). These documents serve to demonstrate that an individual’s name on file with Social Security Administration matches up with who they are when applying for REAL IDs.

Additionally, the application requires a photograph that meets federal and DMV guidelines. The Department of Motor Vehicles only accepts pictures that depict applicants clearly and provide full views with good lighting and color – this can be particularly difficult for migrant workers who often work alongside family members who don’t want their faces exposed in public places or the workplace.