UPDATE – As of April 28, 2021, due to the Covid-19 virus restricted open hours during the past year, the Department of Homeland Security, has extended the deadline for states to enforce the REAL ID legislation until May 3, 2023.
As some of you may know, Congress passed the REAL ID law in 2005, prompted by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. The new cards are required for federal purposes. In addition to domestic flights, you’ll need REAL ID — a federally mandated form of identification that meets increased security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards — in order to enter federal buildings (excluding federal courts) or to gain entry to military bases.
This blog will summarize the important information issued by the Pennsylvania Dept. of Transportation, Bureau of Driver Licensing, for the upcoming REAL ID processing to apply to all domestic air flights now to become effective May 3, 2023. If you live in another state, please contact that state’s Bureau of Driver Licensing for the proper application procedures. The documentation requirements are the same as for Pennsylvania and are listed below.
The PA Department of Transportation issues the following:
“If you are interested in obtaining an optional REAL ID which is now available, PennDOT will need to verify the following documents in person, even though you are a current PA driver’s license or ID card holder. You may bring them to any driver’s license center for verification.
- Proof of Identity, such as an original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport
- Social Security Card, which cannot be laminated or sealed in plastic
- TWO Proofs of current, physical PA address, such as a 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
- Proof of all Legal Name Changes, if applicable, such as a marriage certificate or court order issued by your county’s family court
For more information about documents required for REAL ID, as well as documentation requirements for non-U.S. citizens, visit www.PennDOT.gov/REALID and click the “document Check” icon. Please note — Pennsylvania drivers who received their first license after September 2003 are pre-verified for REAL ID and may apply for REAL ID pre-verification on PennDOT’s website. The state started keeping copies of customers’ documents that year.
It is recommended that PA residents begin application for a READ ID as soon as possible if you will not be renewing your driver’s license until after December 31, 2020. In Southwestern Pennsylvania, the only place to get a REAL ID the same day is the Bridgeville PennDOT Driver’s License Center. Other PennDOT centers take applications with the above listed documentation and expect to mail REAL IDs within 15 days currently (subject to change based on quantity of applications received).
There is a one-time $30 fee for REAL ID. REAL ID is not necessarily the same thing as Pennsylvania’s redesigned driver’s licenses – REAL ID has a star in the top right corner; regular licenses do not. At a Driver’s License Center, you’ll be asked to opt in to REAL ID, similar to the way you choose to become an organ donor.
“If you already have a U.S. Passport or Passport Card, a REAL ID is NOT needed as these qualify as required ID; however if you want a REAL ID, we recommend that you wait until your next renewal to obtain one and avoid the initial rush.”
We at Getaway Dreams Come True advise you to get your documentation in order so that you will not be delayed in obtaining the REAL ID card if you plan to travel via air domestically beginning October 1, 2021. Demand is becoming very high and those who have already applied are expecting several months wait; therefore please submit your application as soon as possible so as to be placed at the top of the processing list. Please see the PennDOT website for further information.
We at Getaway Dreams Come True Travel Agency strive to publish pertinent information regarding travel as soon as possible to all our clients and prospective clients. You may wish to view additional blogs for pertinent information regarding travel topics: