I renewed my NYS driver’s license and my US passport yesterday, since both were expiring. It’s $68 to renew the license, and $110 for the passport. If you are traveling to Canada (a common thing to do if you live in Western New York), it’s another $30 for a “Enhanced” driver’s license, which will get you into Canada or Mexico by land (you need a passport to travel by plane). I also had to pay to get a passport photo and to mail my application using a tracked service. So I spent a little over $200 for my necessary documents (I didn’t opt for the “enhanced” license).
This is a lot of money for people who don’t have a lot of money. Fees like this just keep creeping up, and they’re another trap for the poor. At least in New York, we don’t need to have a photo id to vote, but a drivers’ license is pretty necessary north and west of New York City. Why shouldn’t it be free or really cheap (like $10)?