Stefano Urges Area Resident to Gather Documents Needed to Receive REAL ID

As PennDOT prepares to bring its driver-licensing systems in line with the federal REAL ID standards, Senator Pat Stefano (R-32) reminds area residents that they should begin now to prepare by gathering necessary documents to comply.

 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.

“PennDOT driver’s license centers will be able to start processing those documents starting in September 2018,” Stefano said. “To streamline the process, the agency wants people to start getting required paperwork in order as soon as possible because requests for some official duplicates can take months to fulfill.”

Stefano added that his district offices are on hand to assist residents with obtaining the documentation they need to receive a REAL ID, and can help guide them through the process.

If a residents decides that they do want a REAL ID, federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, 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 (Social security card)
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (Marriage license 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)

PennDOT strongly advises its customers to begin gathering the required documents as soon as possible, especially if they will need to obtain replacement documents. Some states may take up to six months to process duplicate birth certificates, so it is advisable to begin that process right away.

Beginning in September 2018, PennDOT’s 71 Driver’s License Centers will be equipped to verify these documents.

When REAL IDs are available, customers will have two options for obtaining a REAL ID product: they can visit a PennDOT Driver’s License Center, have their documents verified and imaged, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 7-10 days; or 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 will be retrofitting five of its existing driver’s license centers to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID, and adding up to eight new locations.

Pennsylvania is currently under an enforcement extension from the Department of Homeland Security until October 10, 2018, and will continue to apply for extensions until becoming fully compliant with the REAL ID Act.

More information about REAL ID, including frequently asked questions, can be found at