After coronavirus pause, PennDOT resumes issuing REAL IDs

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation on Wednesday announced it will resume issuing REAL ID cards to state residents.

The department put a hold on issuing REAL ID cards in March when the coronavirus pandemic first began to impact the nation. Subsequently, the federal government delayed the scheduled enforcement of the REAL ID program from Oct. 2020 to Oct. 2021.

PennDOT says REAL ID is optional in state residents. Pennsylvanians can still obtain standard-issue driver's licenses and other photo IDs.


The REAL ID program is a federal law that affects how states issue driver's licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. Starting Oct. 1 2021, REAL ID cards will be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification.

Pennsylvania residents will need to provide several verified documents in order to secure a REAL ID. These documents must prove the individual's identity, social security number, Pennsylvania residence, and all legal name changes.

Residents who have had their documents pre-verified can order their REAL ID online and have it mailed to their house. Otherwise, residents will need to go to a PennDOT driver's license center or REAL ID center.

REAL ID's cost a one-time payment of $30 plus a subsequent renewal fee. The current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license and $31.50 for a photo ID.

The expiration date of an initial REAL ID 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. 

More information on REAL ID's can be found here.


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