Federally approved Real ID driver’s licenses are now available in Pa.

Pennsylvania has beat the federal deadline to make available the new Real ID driver's licenses.

Kathryn Whitecotton covers her personal information as she shows her Pennsylvania drivers license and her address update card outside the Penndot Drivers License Center. (Keith Srakocic/AP Photo)

Kathryn Whitecotton covers her personal information as she shows her Pennsylvania drivers license and her address update card outside the Penndot Drivers License Center. (Keith Srakocic/AP Photo)

Pennsylvania finally is offering driver’s licenses that meet federal Real ID regulations.

By October 2020, only Real ID versions of the license will be accepted by airport security screeners. Traditional IDs will still be accepted in Pennsylvania for driving, voting, validating their identification for federal proceedings, gaining access to hospitals or applying for federal benefits.

Passed in 2005, the federal Real ID Act required states to update the process of how applicants obtain driver’s licenses and identification cards following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, according to the Department of Homeland Security. But for Pennsylvania and 11 other states, extensions were granted through various dates in 2019.

The Real ID will look similar to a standard card, but has a gold star in the top right corner and costs $30, plus an additional renewal fee (which is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license or photo ID). The card will be valid for four years plus any time left on the previous license.

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PennDOT expects 2.5 million Pennsylvanians to apply for a Real ID in the coming months.

PennDOT’s Alexis Campbell said to qualify for the license you will need several kinds of ID.

One of the below:

  • A United States birth certificate with a raised seal, issued by an authorized government agency, including U.S. territories and Puerto Rico
    • Please note: souvenir or hospital certificates will not be accepted — it must be an original or certified copy filed with a U.S. state or territory office of vital statistics or equivalent agency in your state of birth
  • A valid United States passport or passport card
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (USCIS Form N-560) or Consular Report of Birth Abroad (DOS Form FS-240)
  • Certificate of Naturalization (USCIS Form N-550 or N-570)

You must present your social security card when applying for a REAL ID. Your card which must be original.

The name on your social security card MUST MATCH the name on your proof of identity document.

Also necessary are two forms of residency ID:

  • Current, unexpired PA driver’s license or photo ID card
  • Pa.vehicle registration card
  • Auto insurance card
  • A computer-generated utility bill showing your name and address
  • W-2 form
  • Tax records
  • Lease agreements or mortgage documents

The ID is locally available at three locations:

  • 143 South Gulph Road in King of Prussia
  • 1700 Markley Street in Norristown
  • 2904 South 70th St., Philadelphia.

Here is a link to a full list of locations that can provide one over the counter.

At other PennDOT driver’s license locations, your documents can be checked and the enhanced licenses can be sent to you within 15 days.

There is also a way to apply for a Real ID  online.

Residents who received their first Pennsylvania-issued learner’s permit, driver’s license or photo ID after Sept.1, 2003 may already have their Real ID documentation on file. Many people in this category received postcards of their eligibility; to check your status or submit a pre-verification form, click here.

Once an email or postcard certifying validity is received, Real IDs can be ordered online, without the need of visiting a DMV or Real ID Center. If you haven’t been pre-verified, you may need to bring your Real ID documents to a driver’s license center in person.

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