SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Starting on May 3, 2023, all travelers on domestic flights will be required to have a Real ID.
DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder held a press conference in the main lobby of the Syracuse Hancock International Airport on Wednesday, where he encouraged the residents of Central New York to apply for their Real ID or equivalent sooner rather than later.
“The federal government is giving you until May third, 2023, to be Real ID compliant,” Schroeder said. “Today, you can go into a DMV office and apply for a Real ID or an Enhanced Driver’s License.”
The government has been trying to push the Real ID requirement for a few years, with the change first being announced in 2020. However, the global pandemic slowed air travel and license renewal, so the deadline was pushed back indefinitely. Now that there is a set deadline, the specifics of the new requirement are laid out.
Without a Real ID, valid passport or Enhanced Driver’s License, travelers cannot board a domestic flight. An EDL can get a carrier across the border to and from Canada, Mexico and most Caribbean islands.
The change in identification is to create a consistent form of identification that can be used across the nation while remaining in a convenient, pocket-sized card. Marketing and Communications Specialist Matt Szwejbka understands this change and encourages frequent fliers to apply for their Real ID.
“The rationale is you increase your security when you have a standardized method of issuing and a standardized process that you go through across the country,” Szwejbka said.
Hancock Airport is preparing for this change, especially as the number of fliers coming out of Syracuse has risen past pre-pandemic levels.
“If more people than ever are traveling, that is more people than ever before that must need this Real ID form of identification,” said Szwejbka.
There is time to apply for a Real ID or EDL before the May 3 deadline, but Commissioner Schroeder is emphatically saying to not delay this process.
“We’re 189 days away,” Schroeder said. “We’re giving people notice; please consider what we are saying and look into having a proper license so you can take a trip.”