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NYS DMV disputes Kearns' claims of 'mistakes'

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Thu, Jun 28th 2018 08:15 pm
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles disputes the claims put forth Wednesday by Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns. He held a press conference earlier this week, calling on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles to amend what he called "a significant mistake" with its license renewal notifications. The DMV, Kearns said, is failing to alert drivers of the appropriate documents required when applying for a "Real ID" or enhanced driver license.
In a response Thursday, the NYS DMV stated that as of May, 890,000 customers have been on the DMV website and have completed the steps in the document guide, "which clearly states for customers that have had a change of name that they need to provide proof of that change."
A copy of the mail insert, which is distributed to customers who are up for license or ID renewal, can be downloaded HERE (PDF).
The NYS DMV said the document "clearly states that customers must bring proof of name change documents."
"NYS DMV has been fully compliant with all federal Real ID Act requirements and its outreach to customers has served as a model for other states," the agency further stated. "NYS DMV values constructive feedback from county clerks across the state and works hard to implement changes to address their needs and concerns. County Clerk Kearns did not notify DMV of any of his concerns regarding DMV's notice to customers about the Federal Real ID Act and its requirements until Wednesday morning, the day after his press conference. DMV was available at a session, which Kearns did not attend, at the Annual County Clerks Conference this month to answer questions and address concerns, and DMV has hosted multiple informational calls and provided written communication to all county clerks to walk them through the guidance for the Federal Real ID Act.
"As part of its commitment to offering the best possible customer service, the DMV website provides detailed information about all available ID services and the documents required to complete an application for those IDs. To ensure customers have all the documents they need before visiting their local office, DMV has created an easy-to-use, award-winning document guide that details exactly what documents they need to bring, including documents to prove a name change such as a marriage certificate, divorce decree or court-issued document. The document guide also provides an option for customers to print the list of required documents for their added convenience. It is available on DMV's website at dmv.ny.gov/documentguide and has been promoted by DMV through mail inserts that are sent to customers renewing their state-issued IDs, press releases, online videos, and social media posts.
"In addition, DMV staff has been on-hand at events such as the New York International Auto Show to educate New Yorkers about the Federal Real ID Act and its requirements. Information about Real ID-compliant IDs and the required documents has also been made available to customers through brochures, posters and videos in DMV offices statewide. DMV's ongoing efforts to educate New Yorkers of the federally required proof documents will include a public awareness campaign this summer."
The Federal Real ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver licenses, permits and ID cards. Effective Oct. 1, 2020, the federal law requires travelers wishing to fly within the U.S. using their New York state-issued license or ID card have a "Real ID" or enhanced driver license. A trip to a DMV office to get a new photo taken and present documents proving one's full legal name and New York state residency, among other things, is required by federal regulations.

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