Jeffrey Dinowitz:
Information on
driver licenses

Dear Neighbor,

If you are a New Yorker making plans to travel outside the country this summer, then be prepared. As of June 1, 2009, a change in federal law requires most United States citizens to present a valid passport or other document to enter the United States at all land and sea border crossings between the United States and Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and some countries in the Caribbean.

As an alternative to the more costly U.S. passport, you can apply for and use an enhanced driver license (EDL) or enhanced non-driver photo ID card (ENDID) when crossing land and sea borders in North America. These new enhanced forms of ID will ease long lines at our New York-Canada border crossings, which is a plus for the upstate economy. And during these tough economic times, EDLs can help ensure that commerce in upstate New York will continue to flow freely and securely, while offering a convenience for all New Yorkers who travel in North America.

For more information, visit or call the NYS EDL Helpline at (518) 474-9981. If you have any questions, call my office.

Jeffrey Dinowitz
Member of Assembly

3107 Kingsbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10463

Room 824 LOB, Albany, NY 12248

Enhanced Driver License

The enhanced driver license (EDL) or enhanced non-driver photo ID card (ENDID) is a new form of identification that can serve as both your driver license and the necessary documentation for specified land and sea travel. The EDL looks similar to a standard license but contains several features to distinguish it from current New York State documents – it contains an American flag image and has the word “Enhanced” on the front, and contains a machine-readable zone on the back. It also has a radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, a requirement of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that can help expedite traffic and reduce the environmental effects of traffic at border crossings. Border equipment can recognize an RFID tag from as far as 30 feet away.
Planning a trip?

If you are planning to travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean, an enhanced driver license (EDL) or an enhanced non-driver photo ID card (ENDID) is an acceptable form of identification to enter the U.S. by land or sea.

The U.S. passport card is another option for land and sea border travel. The wallet-sized passport card is convenient and less expensive than the passport book, and costs $45 for a first-time adult applicant. A new U.S. passport book can cost more than $100.

These are all convenient alternatives, but the U.S. passport card, EDL and ENDID
will not take the place of a passport book for international travel by air.

How to apply

You can apply in person at any New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office that processes driver license transactions. You can wait to get an EDL or ENDID when your current license or ID expires, or you may apply for an EDL as part of an early renewal that extends the expiration date of your current license.

The fee for the enhanced card is $30 in addition to any fees required for your driver license or non-driver photo identification card transaction. To calculate the cost of your EDL or ENDID, visit

To apply for an EDL or ENDID, you must provide:

After you complete your application it will take approximately two weeks to receive your document in the mail, the same amount of time it takes to receive a regular driver license or photo ID card. Visit for a complete list of documentation that can be used as proof.