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BUFFALO - New York drivers can begin applying today for an enhanced driver's license that will comply with tighter travel controls adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The state becomes the nation's second, after Washington state, to offer licenses that can be shown at the U.S. border instead of a more expensive passport.
The optional license will include a picture and radio frequency identification tag that can be scanned to verify a person's identity. The tag will not contain any personal information - only an assigned number, authorities said.
Drivers, though, should be prepared to offer a stack of identifying paperwork when they apply for an enhanced driver's license, and to spend an extra $30.
Erie County Clerk Kathleen Hochul advises drivers to make sure they have what they need before heading into the motor vehicles office.
"It's actually surprising, there's more information than people are going to think they need," said Hochul, who anticipates her county will issue more enhanced driver's licenses than most because of its proximity to Canada.
Those trading in a current driver's license will need, in addition to the old license, a birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship, their Social Security card and two proofs of New York residency, such as recent property tax bills or credit card statements. The documents will be scanned for authenticity, a step that will add 10 to 15 minutes to the application process.All of the licenses are produced in Albany and mailed to drivers.
"It does take more time," Hochul said. The trade-off, she said, is preserving the ability to make spontaneous trips across the border to shop or dine when an oral declaration of citizenship and regular license is no longer enough to get through U.S. Customs.
"That's real important in an area like ours," she said.
Originally posted by dgtempe
The Antichrist! The mark of the Beast!!!
It may look like its "optional" now, but just wait.