PennDOT: Here’s What You’ll Need to Get a REAL ID–Compliant License

They won’t be available until spring 2019, but the state wants you to start prepping now.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wants you to start thinking about getting a new driver’s license.

In 2019, airports will stop accepting current Pennsylvania driver’s licenses as a form of identification. In brief, this is because of the REAL ID Act of 2005, which mandates that state IDs must comply with certain minimum standards to grant access to federal buildings. Pennsylvania is one of several states not yet up to par with the act.

What does that mean? Basically, PennDOT will need to begin issuing new and improved licenses – which it plans to do in spring 2019. But right now, the organization is warning Pennsylvania residents to ensure they have all the necessary documents to apply for the new licenses next year.

That includes:

  • Proof of identity
  • Proof of Social Security number
    • An example includes your social security card
  • Proof of all legal name changes
    • Examples include your marriage license or a court order
  • Two proofs of your current Pennsylvania address
    • Examples include your current unexpired license, a bank statement and/or a utility bill with your name and adresss

Residents must pay a one-time fee of $30 for the REAL ID-compliant licenses.

This fall, the feds granted Pennsylvania an extension to comply with the REAL ID Act. That means airports (and other federal facilities) will continue to accept current state licenses as a valid form of identification through October 10, 2018. If the state is not granted another extension, there will be a period of time (October 10th to Spring of 2019) when you’ll have to bring another form of ID to the airport (like a U.S. passport) in order to board a domestic commercial flight.

For more information on the REAL ID Act, check out PennDOT’s recently added FAQ page or visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website.