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Pennsylvania granted extension to comply with REAL ID requirements

October 3, 2018

Pennsylvania has been granted another extension to comply with federal identification card requirements.

The Department of Homeland Security authorized an extension of REAL ID enforcement through Aug. 1, 2019, according to a news release from Gov. Tom Wolf. That means Pennsylvanians can use their current identification card to board a commercial airplane or enter federal facilities until then.

PennDOT is undergoing the process now to update identification cards to meet federal requirements.

Pre-verification is available now and cards can be ordered online in March for those whose identity has been verified by the state. REAL ID-compliant cards, which are optional, will be needed as of Oct. 1, 2020, to enter federal buildings or board commercial flights.

The pre-verification applies to anyone who got their first driver’s license or identification card before September 2003. About 3.5 million of the state’s 10.7 million license holders should fall into that category, PennDOT estimated.

A 2005 federal law mandates specific standards and requirements for driver’s licenses and identification cards to be accepted for certain purposes. Pennsylvania licenses and ID cards currently do not meet those standards. Among the new requirements are DHS-approved markings, prohibiting remote renewals and requiring in-person reissuance when personally identifiable information changes.

Pennsylvania is one of 16 states still not compliant with the federal law, the Department of Homeland Security reports. The state has gotten extensions to bring those cards into compliance with the law.

For more details, PennDOT.gov has a frequently asked questions section and online tool.

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