PennDOT Resumes Issuance of REAL ID
Federal enforcement will begin October 1, 2021
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that it has resumed issuing REAL IDs at reopened Driver License Centers offering driver license services throughout the state.
PennDOT paused REAL ID issuance throughout the state in March 2020 out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health, due to COVID-19. Additionally, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020 to October 1, 2021 in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration.
REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.
Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: Customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; they can visit any PennDOT Driver’s License Center that is open for driver license services, 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 12 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over the counter at the time of service. For details on pre-verification and other REAL ID information, please visit https://www.dmv.pa.gov/realid/pages/default.aspx.
REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after October 1, 2021 as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.