Backus: State DMV should waive fee for enhanced driver’s licenses until REAL-ID Compliant

OSWEGO, NY – Oswego County Clerk Michael C. Backus today (Sept. 30), called on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to waive the $30 upgrade fee for customers who want to upgrade to an enhanced driver’s license in response to the REAL ID Act of 2005.

The U.S Department of Homeland Security has been working to implement the REAL ID Act of 2005, a joint effort between the states and the federal government to improve the reliability and accuracy of state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards.

The last phase, which requires people to present REAL ID-compliant documentation to board federally-regulated commercial aircraft, could begin as early as 2016.

Currently the cost of a standard driver’s license ranges from $80 to $120 for a new application depending on the license classification and the age of the applicant, and $64.50 to $164.50 for a renewal.

Obtaining an enhanced driver’s license is an added $30 due to production costs.

“It’s not New Yorkers’ fault that NYS driver’s licenses are not REAL-ID compliant. Until the NYS DMV and the Department of Homeland Security come to an agreement and all NYS driver’s licenses and non-driver’s identification are REAL-ID compliant, I believe NYS DMV should waive the fee,” said Backus.

New York State Department of Motor Vehicles is currently working with DHS to become compliant with the REAL ID Act.  Individuals with a regular driver’s license may present an alternate form of identification, such as a U.S. passport or passport card, or a permanent residency card.

They may also continue to use their regular driver’s license if it is accompanied by their birth certificate or another form of acceptable documentation.

“New Yorkers have every right to board airplanes, visit federal facilities, and do all the other things that require proper identification and until NYS DMV and DHS come to an agreement, NYS DMV should waive the $30 reproduction expense,” said Backus.

Enhanced licenses are only available at DMV offices; you cannot apply for one on-line, over the phone or by mail. Applicants must show up at a Department of Motor Vehicles office with proof of identity, U.S. citizenship, New York residency and date of birth.

Oswego County is proud to operate three Motor Vehicle offices located in Fulton, Oswego, and Pulaski.

Offices are located at:

·         200 N. Second St., Fulton, phone (315)591-9136;

·         384 E River Road, Oswego, phone (315)349-8300; and

·         2 Broad St., Pulaski, phone (315)298-6521.

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