Ready for Real ID? Pa. drivers can soon apply for a federally recognized driver’s license

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation updated state drivers Monday on how they can apply for Real ID pre-verification in the coming weeks.

The Real ID act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005, and requires changes to the state standards, procedures and requirements for the issuance of driver’s licenses and identification cards to be accepted as identity documents by the federal government.

According to a PennDOT news release, customers who received their first state driver’s license or ID card after September 2003 have had the option to apply online for Real ID pre-verification since March. Customers who received licenses or IDs before that date will need to bring required documents to a Driver’s License Center to be verified in person.

Federal regulations require that PennDOT must verify the following documents: proof of identity, such as a birth certificate or passport; proof of social security number through a social security card; proof of all legal name changes, such as a marriage certificate; and two proofs of current physical state address, such as a current state license or ID and a current bank statement with the same name and address.

Customers may bring these documents to a Driver’s License Center beginning Sept. 1. These documents will be imaged onto the customer’s record, PennDOT said, and when Real IDs become available in March 2019, the customer can opt into the program online. The ID product will then be mailed.

A Real ID will cost a one-time fee of $30, PennDOT said, plus a renewal fee. Real IDs will be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building beginning Oct. 1, 2020, and there is no requirement that any resident obtain a Real ID.