REAL ID driver license upgrades contribute to lengthy DMV lines

Although the DMV has extended hours and aided staff, AAA says many of its members are still getting frustrated with the wait times.

News 12 Staff

Feb 27, 2020, 7:20 PM

Updated 1,543 days ago

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Come Oct. 1, a REAL ID or enhanced driver license will be needed for air travel in the U.S. - and the process to get one is contributing to lengthy lines at Long Island Department of Motor Vehicles offices.

Although the DMV has extended hours and aided staff, AAA says many of its members are still getting frustrated with the wait times.

Robert Sinclair Jr., of AAA Northeast, says people who go online to make appointments are seeing that they may not be available until May, June or July. The DMV says earlier appointments are available.

AAA says it might be easier to apply for a passport, which can be used for domestic air travel after October, then upgrade driver licenses at a later time.

Last month, the DMV took steps to ease long lines following the passage of the Green Light New York Bill. The law allows people who immigrated to the United States without documentation to get their driver licenses. It has contributed to lengthy lines at state facilities.
The DMV says it extended office hours, increased reservations and added 400 new employees.

Donna Groth Albendale braved the line at the Garden City DMV Thursday. She says she took her chances since it was her day off. Some Long Islanders say the wait wasn't bad at some of the DMV offices, while others say the wait was longer than expected.

AAA has offered to help the DMV accept and process driver license applications -- something it does in 24 other states. There's no word yet from the DMV on whether that will happen.


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