The enhanced driver's license (EDL) is issued by specific states and serves several purposes. It can serve as a means of identification as a US citizen. It is also equipped with technology to aid traveling and movement across borders, alongside the permit to drive around in the United States.
Under the federal Real ID law, if Citizens of the US intend to travel, they are required to present documents that are compliant with the federal Real ID law. The enhanced driver's license is compliant with the law that gives it coverage for domestic flights. The enhanced driver's license is characterized by having a flag of the United States at the lower right-hand corner.
For domestic flights, documents compliant with the federal Real ID law are required. Your enhanced driver's license and Identification card are compliant with the Real ID law and, as such, can be used for domestic flights. The enhanced driver's license is acceptable for flying domestically, and can be used when arriving from Bermuda, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Canada by land or port.
An enhanced driver's license has certain benefits up its sleeves compared with other identification documents. It is an appropriate, convenient, and cost-effective document that can suffice for driving, identification, domestic flights, and border-crossing needs. When returning to the US from Canada, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Mexico by sea or land, it is the federally approved document.
The EDL makes traveling easier. It can serve as an alternative to the Canadian Visa, even when you go by air. Encoded in it is a Machine-Readable Zone (MRZ), which is a barcode that the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers can check on entry. This serves as a backup for the Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip. When using some other forms of identification, you would have to stick with ground or water transport when visiting the US from Canada.
The unique number used by the card links to the Department of Homeland Security database and does not contain or reveal any personally identifiable information. It also has a Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip on it; however, the data stored on it cannot be transmitted remotely by radio. A security sleeve also covers the RFID chip when it is not in use. This keeps your biometric information out of plain sight.
Application for an EDL is available to the citizens of Minnesota, Vermont, Michigan, Washington, and New York. The cost varies according to location; it costs $45 in Michigan and $30 in New York. When applying for the EDL, biometrics, photos, and the signature of necessary documents are needed in addition to your application form. Citizens from other states who want to enjoy this convenience would come to any of the states mentioned above and follow the EDL application guidelines.
The application period for obtaining your Enhanced Driver's License has been slated to end on May 3, 2023, after which air travelers would be required to present the EDL or a Real ID. If these are absent, they would be required to submit other acceptable documents such as a valid passport card or US passport.
In conclusion, by May 3, 2023, citizens above 18 years must have a Real ID, an example of which is the Enhanced Driver's License, before they can fly domestically. Those who do not have a Real ID to their name will have to provide other forms of documents such as a valid passport card or a US passport.