On October 1, 2020, federal enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin at airports and secure federal facilities nationwide.
Beginning October 1, a federally-accepted form of identification (Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and photo ID cards have been available at the customer's option since March 2019.
As of mid-February, more than 700,000 Pennsylvanians have chosen to get a REAL ID-compliant product. Based on data from other states with optional REAL ID programs, PennDOT anticipates that approximately 1.3 million of its customers will get a REAL ID before the federal enforcement deadline of October 1, 2020.
Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the below documents:
- Proof of Identity: Original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed OR a valid, unexpired U.S. Passport;
- Proof of Social Security Number: Social security card, in current legal name;
- Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Current, unexpired PA driver's license or identification card, vehicle registration or a utility bill with the same name and address; and
- Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if applicable): Certified marriage certificate(s) issued by the County Court for each marriage, court order(s) approving a change in legal name, or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics
If residents need to obtain replacement documents, they should contact the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics, Social Security Administration and/or obtain Certified Marriage Certificate(s) from the County office in which the marriage license was issued. Customers can bring the required documents to any PennDOT Driver License Center. More info about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.
Customers who choose to get a REAL ID will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver's license, $31.50 for a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won't "lose" time that they've already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.
Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product:
- If a customer has been pre-verified, they may order their REAL ID online and receive their REAL ID in the mail within 15 business days.
- Customers can visit one of PennDOT's 63 Driver's License Centers, have their documents verified, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days;
- Visit one of the 12 REAL ID Centers have their documents verified, pay the one-time fee, and receive their REAL ID product over the counter at the time of service.
Of the 12 PennDOT centers, seven are existing driver's license centers upgraded to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID (Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Rockview in Centre County, Erie, Altoona, Norristown and South 70th Street in Philadelphia). In addition to these upgraded sites, PennDOT added 5 new locations, which are open for business:
- 1025 Washington Pike, Rt. 50, Bridgeville;
- 143 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia;
- 1101 MacArthur Road, Allentown;
- 429 North Enola Road, Enola; and
- 2090 Lincoln Highway East., Lancaster.
More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID.