Additional Identification Required at Pennsylvania Airports

The REAL ID Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005, requires states to change their requirements for issuing driver licenses to meet minimum security standards.  Beginning January 22, 2018, air travelers with identification that does not meet the REAL ID Act requirements and whose state does not have an extension will need to show an alternative form of identification.   Examples of acceptable forms of identification include U.S. military or dependent ID, DHS trusted traveler cards, airline or airport-issued ID, or passport book or passport card.

On May 26, 2017, Governor Wolf signed into law the Pennsylvania REAL ID Compliance Act which will allow Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant driver licenses, which can be used to access airports and federal facilities.

Pennsylvania is under a REAL ID enforcement extension until October 10, 2017, which means that Pennsylvania residents will not have to show alternative identification until then.  PennDOT says that it will continue to request extensions from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security until REAL ID products are available for Pennsylvania residents.

Under the new Pennsylvania Act, you are not required to get the new REAL ID driver license, but if you do obtain one, you will be able to use the new REAL ID driver license and will not also need to show a passport or additional identification.

PennDOT estimates REAL ID driver licenses will be available to Pennsylvania residents beginning in 2019. This will allow time for Pennsylvania residents to obtain one before the final Department of Homeland Security deadline of October 1, 2020.

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