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Applying for a Real ID? Five common mistakes and ways to avoid them

It could be tricky for people to apply for a Real ID in New York – so the state is trying to clear up confusion with a list of tips.

The Department of Motor Vehicles last week identified five common mistakes residents make when applying for a Real ID.

“Our goal is to make the transition to a Real ID as simple as possible,” said Terri Eagan, executive deputy commissioner of the DMV, in a news release.

Real IDs are required for citizens flying in the United States under national security legislation passed by Congress in 2005.

The five mistakes noted by the DMV, and the state's solutions to them, are:

  • Not providing proof of middle name or name changes. The DMV urged people to bring documents such as a Social Security card, birth certificate or U.S. passport when applying for a Real ID, as proof of their full legal name. Additional documentation may be needed, if a name was changed due to divorce or marriage.
  • Bringing photocopies instead of original documents. People should bring original documents, such as Social Security cards or birth certificates, when applying for a Real ID.
  • Not checking the online document guide before visiting the DMV. The agency said most information about applying for a Real ID can be found on its online guide.
  • Using nicknames. Federal requirements do not allow the DMV to issue Real IDs to people using nicknames, according to the agency. The DMV recommends that all residents use their full legal names when applying for IDs.
  • Not providing appropriate proof of residency. Residents must bring two official forms of proof of residency, such as a New York driver's license, a recent bank statement or a pay stub showing their address.

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