Just any old driver’s license won’t let you fly

CHATHAM–Town Clerk Beth Anne Rippel announced at the Town Board meeting last week that County Clerk Holly Tanner would be visiting the Town Hall March 5 to answer questions about the federal REAL ID and the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles enhanced driver’s license programs.

Ms. Tanner plans to visit several towns over the next few months to discuss the options available to people as a federal deadline looms for having some form of enhanced identification to use for those who plan to travel on domestic flights.

According to the state’s DMV website, “beginning on October 1, 2020, the federal government will require your driver license, permit or ID card to be REAL ID compliant if you wish to use it as identification to board a domestic flight (within the U.S.), or enter military bases and certain federal facilities. Enhanced driver license, permit, or non-driver ID and valid U.S. Passport are already REAL ID compliant and can be used to board a flight.”

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses, permits and ID cards. The Act also prohibits federal agencies, like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), from accepting cards for official purposes from states that do not meet these standards.”

The county’s DMV office is under the supervision of the county clerk, so Ms. Tanner’s office would issue the IDs. Ms. Tanner said she wants to explain the three different types of DMV ID–the REAL ID, the enhanced license and the standard license–to residents so they can decide what will work best for them.

“People do have options,” she said in phone interview about the program after the Town Board meeting. She added that just understanding the different types of identifications is “one of the things I want to educate people about.”

The different IDs also come with different paperwork requirements for people to file to apply and the enhanced license comes with a $30 charge where the REAL ID is free. If you have a standard license after October 2020, you cannot use it to board domestic flights. But passports are still a form of ID that can be used for travel, domestic and abroad.

The REAL ID is a federal program and the enhanced license is a state program.

There is information at the DMV website about the IDs at https://dmv.ny.gov/which-id-right-me.

Ms. Tanner will be at the Chatham Town Hall, 488 Route 295, on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to all.

She will be at the Stockport Town Hall on March 12 at 7 p.m., the Ghent Town Hall on March 21 at 6 p.m.; the Ancram Town Hall on April 6 at 10 a.m.; Canaan Town Hall on May 13 at 6 p.m.; and at the new Austerlitz Town Hall on May 16 at 7 p.m.

Also at the February 21 Town Board meeting:

• The Town Board passed local law #1 of 2019 “to provide setting of building and other fees in annual resolution rather than by amending the provisions in the Town Code.” There was no comment at the public hearing the board held on the law before the regular meeting

• The board agreed to contract with town engineers Barton and Loguidice to act on the town’s behalf during the planning process for the traffic light at Albany Turnpike. The state Department of Transportation “is picking up most of the bill” for the cost of the light, said Supervisor Maria Lull. Councilman Bob Balcom said that this resolution moves the town “one step closer” to having the light in East Chatham put in over the one-lane bridge

• The board discussed procurement policies after an issue came up over awarding a bid on a tree project at Crellin Park. Members were concerned about the town policy on needing three bids for jobs at a certain price and the fact there are two different policies.

The next Town Board meeting will be Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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