Drivers who want to apply for an enhanced driver’s license in New York should first understand what this credential is good for and what the application process entails. Motorists may obtain an enhanced license, permit or ID card through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (NY DMV). However, prior to applying for this credential, drivers need to learn the difference between an enhanced, a standard and REAL ID license.

This type of document is a credential that provides motorists with the opportunity to travel into the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries without the need of a passport. To learn more about how to get an enhanced license in New York, review the following sections.

What is an enhanced driver’s license in New York?

A New York enhanced driver’s license (EDL) is a federal, REAL ID-compliant credential that may be used in various situations. A few basic enhanced driver license benefits include:

  • Entering federal facilities or a military base.
  • Boarding domestic flights without a U.S. passport.
  • Crossing a U.S. border from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries.
  • Providing a photo proof of identity.

This license displays the resident’s full legal name and residential address. It also contains a U.S. flag, which differentiates it from a standard credential.

What is an enhanced ID in New York?

The enhanced ID in New York is a credential issued by the NY DMV that is better known as enhanced non-driver ID card (ENDID). Like an enhanced license to drive, the ENDID may be used instead of a passport in situations when NY residents return to the U.S. by land or sea from Canada, Mexico or some of the Caribbean countries. However, neither the EDL license nor the ENDID card is accepted for air travel between the above-mentioned countries.

There are no specific differences between an EDL and an ENDID card, except that the license allows you to drive. An NY DMV-issued enhanced license, permit or a non-driver ID (ENDID) may be utilized for purposes like crossing a U.S. border by land and sea from specific countries, entering federal facilities, boarding domestic flights and proving identity.

New York Enhanced License Eligibility Requirements

In order to obtain an enhanced driver’s license in New York, motorists may need to satisfy the basic eligibility criteria. To meet EDL eligibility requirements, drivers must be U.S. citizens and NY residents before applying for this credential.

Documents Needed for an Enhanced Driver’s License in New York

When applying for a New York enhanced driver’s license (EDL), permit or non-driver ID (ENDID), residents may have to visit a local NY DMV branch to submit certain paperwork. Motorists need to provide the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of New York residency
  • Proof of United States citizenship
  • Proof of date of birth
  • Proof of Social Security status
  • Payment for the applicable enhanced driver’s license cost

How to Get an Enhanced License in New York

Motorists who want to obtain a DMV enhanced license in New York are required to perform certain application procedures in order to receive the credential. To apply for an enhanced driver’s license (EDL), permit or non-driver ID (ENDID), applicants must go to a New York DMV location and perform the procedure in person. Currently, the methods for applying online, by mail or by phone are unavailable. Therefore, the only way to obtain this license is by appearing in person at the DMV.

Motorists who are applying for an EDL license for the first time are required to first hold a corresponding permit. Moreover, residents who do not plan to operate a motor vehicle may simply apply for a non-driver ID card (ENDID). When EDL license, permit or ENDID applicants arrive at the NY DMV, they will have to do the following:

  • Pass an eye exam.
  • Present the mandatory paperwork.
  • Pay the applicable fees.

How long does it take to get an enhanced license in New York?

After finishing the application procedure for an NY enhanced driver’s license, permit or non-driver ID card, applicants need to wait for the new credential to arrive in the mail. The NY DMV issues enhanced credentials after the application procedure is processed. Therefore, motorists will receive their EDL documents at their mailing addresses within two weeks.

Enhanced Driver’s License Cost in New York

The final step of the EDL application is to provide payment for the applicable fees, depending on the type of enhanced document drivers have applied for. Motorists may be required to pay basic fees for a regular driver’s license or a DMV-issued ID card, as well as an additional $30 fee for the enhanced credential. The additional cost for an enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or an enhanced non-driver ID card (ENDID) is the same for both documents.

Enhanced Licenses vs. Passports in New York

Motorists wondering what is the difference between a New York DMV enhanced license and a passport card should know that the EDL like a cross between the two documents. A passport is a legal document issued for the purpose of travelling internationally by land, sea and air.

However, a passport card is a document that is valid only for the purpose of re-entering the U.S. only by land or sea from Canada, Mexico and some of the Caribbean countries. In this aspect, the passport card is similar to an enhanced license because both the EDL and the passport card may be used for the same travel purposes.

Although an enhanced driver’s license resembles a passport card in aspects of travelling, the EDL is different than passports and passport cards due to the other advantages that residents get from it. Apart from the ability to re-enter the U.S., the enhanced driver license benefits include the possibility to enter federal facilities or military base, to board domestic flights and to submit the license as a proof of photo identity. Of course, it also gives motorists the ability to legally drive their vehicles.

Last updated on Tuesday, April 30 2019.

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