The enforcement of the REAL ID Law has been pushed back for a year due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Penn DOT announced last week.
PennDOT said the Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from Oct 1st of this year, to Oct. 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency that was declared.
The REAL ID Act was passed after 9/11 terrorist attacks to establish security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Pennsylvania has received a number of extensions to implement the federal requirements over the last few years.
“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to our concerns, as well as the concerns from our fellow states regarding the need for a postponement on REAL ID enforcement in the midst of this national emergency,” PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian said in a statement.
PennDOT all driver and photo license centers earlier this month and paused REAL ID issuance in the state out of caution and in the interest of public health, officials said. Penn DOT Centers will reopen no sooner than April 6, officials have said.
PennDOT sent the to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requesting that the agency consider extending the Oct. 1, 2020 REAL ID deadline for Pennsylvania, Penn DOT said.
REAL IDs are optional. If you have a passport, you can use that form of identification to board flights and obtain entry into federal facilities.
REAL IDs are not required to drive in Pennsylvania and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once they reopen.
A federally-acceptable form of identification — whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc. — must now be used on and after Oct. 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.
There are three ways to get a REAL ID. If you’ve been pre-verified, you can order your REAL ID online and receive it in the mail. You can also visit one of PennDOT’s 63 Driver’s License Centers, have your documents verified and pay the one-time fee. Your REAL ID will be mailed to you.
Required documents include identification (original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. passport), a Social Security card, proof of legal name changes, and two proofs of address.
Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.