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Back in 2005, Congress passed a new law to update photo IDs that are issued in the united states as a way of responding to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. That law, the Real ID Act of 2005, requires state-issued ID to meet certain guidelines in order for residents to be able to do a set of things that are regulated by the federal government.

When this law was passed, The State of New York had initially decided not to comply with the law, that the result of that would be millions of New Yorkers not being able to travel. Since then, New York State officials have decided to comply with the law and give New Yorkers the chance to decide if they want an ID that meets the Real ID standards, or if they want to maintain their regular ID.

Starting October 1, 2021, if you haven't upgraded your New York State ID to one that meets the minimum required standards, then you won't be able to go into any type federal building or military base, go on any type of nuclear plant, and most importantly won't be able to board any commercial flight or go into commercial airports.

New York offers 3 levels of identification: Standard, Real ID, and Enhanced. You can get a detailed description of the differences between the 3 IDs on the NYS DMV website. But in order to do any of the things noted above you have to heave either a Real ID or Enhanced.

I don't know about you, but I plan on hopping on quite a few flights once some of the pandemic rules open up. So if you plan on hopping on some flights with me, make sure you get your ID upgraded.

The deadline of October 1st is less than 7 months away, and while that seems like a long time, one of the many things that COVID-19 has taught us is that it will be here before you know it.

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