REALID Information
REAL ID – Rep. Gaydos

Due to the events on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which requires changes to state standards, procedures and requirements for the issuance of driver’s licenses and ID cards, in order to be accepted for certain federal purposes, like entering a federal building or boarding a domestic commercial flight.

As of now, enforcement of the REAL ID Act will begin on Oct. 1, 2020, meaning Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant license, identification card or an acceptable alternative identification as approved by TSA (such as a passport) to board domestic commercial flights or enter a federal facility.

REAL IDs will be available to Pennsylvanians who want them in March 2019.

Eligible PA residents who wish to obtain a REAL ID can begin the pre-verification process at a Driver License Center with the following documents:

• Proof of identity (original or certified copy of a birth certificate or U.S. Passport).
• Unlaminated Social Security card.
• Proof of all legal name changes if applicable (marriage certificate or court order).
• Two proofs of your current, physical Pennsylvania address (current, unexpired PA license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address).

PennDOT staff will scan the documents to the customer’s record, and when REAL IDs are available in March 2019, customers can opt into the program online, and their REAL ID will be sent through the mail.

Customers will have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product:
1. Pre-verified customers may order their REAL ID online.
2. Customers can visit a PennDOT Driver License Center, have their documents verified and scanned, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within seven to 10 days.
3. Customers can visit one of up to 13 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.

PennDOT is in the process of retrofitting six of its existing driver’s license centers to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID and adding five new locations, including one in Pittsburgh.

Please note that REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. There is no requirement that any resident must obtain a REAL ID. PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs. Just remember that in order to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal facility, you will need a passport, in addition to your standard driver’s license, starting Oct. 1, 2020.

For more information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, visit

If you need assistance or have additional questions, please contact my office at (412) 262-3783.