DAN HEATH
Press Republican
May 28, 2008

PLATTSBURGH — The federal government has agreed to allow most New York residents to use a new, more secure driver license to cross the border.

New York Gov. David Paterson announced the agreement between the state and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. A New York Enhanced Driver License has been added to the list of approved alternatives to passports for entry to the United States from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Bermuda under Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

The new Enhanced Driver Licenses are anticipated to be available by summer’s end, well in advance of the WHTI, which will go into effect June 1, 2009.

“The development of this license will help to ease long lines at our New York-Canada border crossings, allowing commerce to flow more freely and securely in and out of the state,” Paterson said.

“It represents a major step forward that will help the upstate economy and offer a convenience for all New Yorkers who travel in North America.”

New York residents who are U.S. citizens and want an Enhanced Driver License must go to a New York Department of Motor Vehicles office and submit proof of identity and citizenship. The new license is expected to cost $80 — $30 more than a regular driver license — and be valid for eight years.

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