From the desk of State Representative Lynda Schlegel Culver:
Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, Pennsylvania residents will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license/photo ID card or another form of federally acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building that requires identification or military installation.
PennDOT is working with the federal government to update its systems to complete compliance. In the meantime, Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver’s license to access federal facilities through Oct.10, 2018, under an extension granted by the federal government. Additional extensions are anticipated as the Commonwealth comes into compliance.
Earlier this year, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) began taking online applications for REAL ID pre-verification for customers interested in obtaining a REAL ID. Customers eligible for this service are those who obtained their first Pennsylvania driver’s license or photo ID card after September 2003.
Beginning in September 2018, you can bring your REAL ID documentation to any PennDOT Driver License Center for verification. Then, once the REAL IDs are available in Spring 2019, you will be able to order your REAL ID online – no need to go back to the driver license center.
To obtain the REAL ID, you will need to pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year noncommercial driver’s license or a photo ID). The expiration date of your first REAL ID license or ID card will include any time remaining on your current license or ID card, plus an additional four years (unless you are over 65 and have opted for a two-year license). For example, if your license is set to expire in October 2020, but you upgrade to a REAL ID in October 2019, your new REAL ID compliant license or ID card won’t expire until October 2024. This means that you won’t “lose”
time that you’ve already paid for. Visit www.Penndot.gov/REALID for more information.
With the implementation of REAL ID, many Pennsylvanians will be requesting a copy of their birth certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Division of Vital Records. Despite efforts to work with the department to improve processing times, it currently takes as long as six months for the state to issue a birth certificate.
In June, the House passed legislation that would overhaul the process for issuing birth certificates. House Bill 84 is currently under consideration in the Senate. Residents are reminded that they can submit birth certificate applications through any of my district offices, which typically reduces the processing time, although Vital Records does not guarantee this. The fastest way to obtain a birth certificate is to go in-person to a Vital Records office in Harrisburg or Scranton.
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