Enhanced Drivers Licenses (EDLs) are state-issued enhanced drivers licenses that provide proof of identity and U.S. citizenship when crossing the U.S. border in a vehicle. They are issued in a secure process, and include technology that makes travel easier. EDLs are a low-cost, convenient option for entering the United States from Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean through a land or sea port of entry, in addition to serving as a permit to drive.
DHS has been working with individual states to enhance their drivers licenses and identification documents to comply with travel rules under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), effective June 1, 2009.
EDL's are available in the following states:
- New York
EDLs make it easier for U.S. citizens to cross the border into the United States because they include:
- A Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip that will signal a secure system to pull up your biographic and biometric data for the CBP officer as you approach the border inspection booth.
- A Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) or barcode that the CBP officer can read electronically if RFID isn't available.
DHS worked with Canadian provincial and federal officials to change EDLs as another option to the Canadian passport. Four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec) are issuing EDLs to Canadian citizens. Canadian citizens can present an EDL when entering the United States from Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean through a land or sea port of entry.
No personally identifiable information (PII) is stored on the card's RFID chip or can be transmitted electronically by the card. The card uses a unique identification number that links to information contained in a secure DHS database. This number does not contain PII.
When you get an EDL, you will also receive:
- Information on how to use, carry, and protect your license.
- A shielded sleeve that prevents anyone from reading your license.