Intl. Driving Permits,
Licenses & NEXUS
Important! New Rules for Domestic Air Travel
Beginning in 2016, a New York State driver license may no longer be accepted as the sole source of identification to board domestic airlines. The REAL ID Act is a federal law passed by Congress after September 11th that establishes specific federal requirements for state-issued identification in order to prevent terrorists from using fraudulent ID.
The federal requirements will eventually apply to domestic air travel. States have not yet received direction from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on exactly when the REAL ID Act will take effect in regard to air travel, but according to the DHS website, travelers will be given ample notice and the requirements for boarding commercial aircraft will change “no sooner than 2016.”
Some states have modified their driver's licenses to meet the REAL ID Act, but a standard New York driver’s license does not meet the requirements, which have yet to go into effect.
However, DHS confirms on its website that New York’s Enhanced Driver License (EDL) is REAL ID compliant. It is also accepted for land or sea travel between the United States and Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries in place of a passport.
A valid, unexpired U.S. Passport continues to be acceptable for both domestic and international air travel.
Right now, every New York State driver license or non-driver ID is enough proof of identity to get New Yorkers on a plane without incurring the $30 in additional costs associated with purchasing an EDL.
However, travelers should be aware of and prepare for future changes.
For information on the REAL ID Act please visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.
For information on getting an Enhanced Driver’s License, please visit the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website.
For information on acceptable forms of ID please visit the Transportation Security Administration website.
AAA Provides Passport Photos
Your local AAA Travel Center can provide digital passport photos, answer passport-related questions, assist with travel documents and help you to obtain your passport. Passport photos are $8.95 for AAA Members and $10.00 for non-members.AAA Locations
Important LinksPassport & Visa Information
Passport and Visa information for both U.S. and foreign citizens
U.S. Department of State
Learn how to get a passport, apply for a passport, detailed instructions, application status, passport fees and USPS locations
United States Postal Service
Expedited passport service offered by AAA
Travel warnings, alerts and country specific travel information
U.S. Department of State
Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL)New York State Enhanced Driver’s License
Enhanced Driver’s Licenses (EDL) are available to drivers who can show proof of New York State residency and US citizenship. Enhanced non-driver photo identification cards are also available.*
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
*AAA recommends a U.S. passport as the most effective and cost-efficient identification document for international travel.
NEXUS – Trusted Traveler ProgramThe Fastest Way to Cross the US–Canadian Border
NEXUS is a Trusted Traveler Program designed to expedite the border clearance process for low-risk, pre-approved U.S. and Canadian citizens. The program offers dedicated Customs processing lanes at designated US–Canadian bridge and land border crossings, as well as special kiosks at Canadian Preclearance airports, and other available marine reporting locations. The program is quite popular with frequent border travelers and families who vacation in both countries. Over 650,000 citizens are currently enrolled in the program. The cost of membership is just $50 for five years of eligibility, and children under 18 years old may participate for free.
Visit NEXUS Niagara for more information & enrollment
International Driving Permit
Before you travel the world, visit your local AAA for your International Driving Permit. To apply, simply print the application, fill in the information requested, and bring the following to the AAA branch nearest you.
What you’ll need:
- Complete & print the International Driving Application
- Two original passport-size photos (also available at your local AAA)
- $15 permit fee
- Photocopy of your driver’s license
Contact AAA for details, restrictions & qualifications