REAL ID parameters

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PennDOT is reminding customers of upcoming changes and how they can apply for a REAL ID.

REAL ID will be required to enter any court or fly starting in October 2020.

Anyone who got their PA driver’s license or ID card after September 2003 may already have their electronic documents on file, and have had the option to apply for REAL ID pre-verification online since March.

But a study showed that most licenses or ID cards affected by the policy change were initially issued before September 2003, and PennDOT doesn’t have the required documents on file.

Beginning September 1, in order to receive a REAL ID, PennDOT must verify the following documents:

-Proof of Identity (Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport)
-Proof of Social Security Number (Unlaminated social security card)
-Proof of all Legal Name Changes (Marriage certificate or court order issued by your county’s family court)
-Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address (Current, unexpired PA license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address)

Customers will pay a one-time fee of $30 for their REAL-ID, plus a renewal fee. The 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 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. After the initial REAL ID expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID.

When REAL IDs are available, customers will have three options for obtaining it:
-Pre-verified customers may order their REAL ID online.
-They can visit a PennDOT Driver’s License Center, have their documents verified and saved, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID will be mailed to them within 7-10 days.
-They can visit one of up to 13 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.

PennDOT is in the process of updating six of its existing driver’s license centers to allow for over-the-counter distribution for REAL IDs. These locations include Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Rockview in Centre County, Erie, Altoona, and South 70th Street in Philadelphia. PennDOT is also adding five new locations in Pittsburgh, King of Prussia, Allentown, Harrisburg, and Lancaster.

REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. A federally-accepted form of identification, whether it’s the forthcoming 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 on and after October 1, 2020.

The REAL ID will be available starting in March 2019. 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.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

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