Upgrading to a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card is optional
Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently announced that optional REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards are now available for Pennsylvania residents who want one.
A federally-accepted form of identification (whether it’s a 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 on and after October 1, 2020.There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.
Federal REAL ID regulations require that PennDOT verify a customer’s identity, social security number, Pennsylvania residency, and name changes (if applicable), even if a customer already has a PA driver’s license or ID card. 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 have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified; they can visit any PennDOT Driver’s License Center, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of twelve REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.
When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they 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 or 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.
PennDOT has upgraded seven of its existing driver’s license centers 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) and added the following new locations, which are now 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.
REAL ID-compliant products are marked with a gold star in the upper right corner, standard-issue (non-compliant) products include the phrase “Not for REAL ID Purposes,” per federal regulations. Sample images can be viewed on PennDOT’s website.
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.