Department of Homeland Security Certifies Pennsylvania as REAL ID-Compliant

May 20, 2019

Department of Homeland Security Certifies Pennsylvania as
REAL ID-Compliant

Harrisburg, PA – Today, PennDOT announced that the department has been notified by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that Pennsylvania is in full compliance with the federal REAL ID Act and regulation.

“This DHS designation is the culmination of countless hours of PennDOT employees’ efforts to meet federal requirements and ensure smooth travel and services for Pennsylvanians,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “I am gratified that our optional program is in place well ahead of the federal deadline of next fall and we are providing convenient, secure services for customers.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has issued more than 138,000 REAL IDs since they became available on March 1.

“I am extremely proud of our team for reaching this designation and for also implementing an enhanced customer experience at our new and retrofitted centers,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said. “I strongly urge customers who may want a REAL ID to do so as soon as possible to avoid a potential rush at next year’s deadline.”

A federally accepted form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Federal REAL ID regulations require that PennDOT verify a customer’s identity, social security number, Pennsylvania residency, and name changes (if applicable), even if a customer already has a PA driver’s license or ID card. More information about document requirements, including a printable document checklist (PDF), can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

PennDOT strongly advises its customers to gather the required documents – especially if they will need to obtain replacement documents – well in advance of the federal deadline. Some states may take up to six months to process duplicate birth certificates, so it is advisable to begin that process right away.

Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified; they can visit any PennDOT Driver’s License Center, 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.

When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license or a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won’t “lose” time that they’ve already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.

PennDOT has upgraded seven of its existing driver’s license centers to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID (Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Rockview in Centre County, Erie, Altoona, Norristown and South 70th Street in Philadelphia). These locations, along with the following new locations, are also accepting payment-card transactions:

  • 1025 Washington Pike, Rt. 50, Bridgeville;
  • 143 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia;
  • 1101 MacArthur Road, Allentown;
  • 429 North Enola Road, Enola; and
  • 2090 Lincoln Highway East, Lancaster.

REAL ID-compliant products are marked with a gold star in the upper right corner, standard-issue (non-compliant) products include the phrase “Not for REAL ID Purposes,” per federal regulations. Sample images can be viewed on PennDOT’s website.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

MEDIA CONTACTS: Alexis Campbell, 717-783-8800; Melanie Baldwin, 717-787-0485

# # #