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Real ID in Pennsylvania

Updated: Mar 12, 2020


Beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.

REAL IDs are now available to Pennsylvanians who want them. This guide will help you decide if you need a REAL ID, and provide information on what documents you will need and steps you can take to get an optional REAL ID.


What Is REAL ID?

REAL ID 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, such as boarding a domestic commercial flight, or entering a military installation or federal facility that requires ID.





Prepare for REAL ID

Gather Your Documents The best thing you can do to prepare for REAL ID is to get your documents together . Federal regulations require that PennDOT must verify original versions or certified copies of the following documents for a customer before issuing a REAL ID:

  • Proof of identity:  Original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the state office of vital records with a raised/embossed seal — issued by an authorized government agency — or valid, unexpired U.S. Passport or passport card.

  • Proof of Social Security number: Social Security card.

  • Two proofs of current, physical PA address (if applicable): Examples include current, unexpired PA license or ID, PA vehicle registration, auto insurance card or utility bill with the same name and address.

  • Proof of all legal name changes: Certified marriage certificate, court order, or divorce decree issued by your county’s family court.

If you are a lawfully present non-U.S. citizen, acceptable documents include:

  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Card (EAD) issued by DHS; Forms I-766 or Form 1-688B

  • Valid, Unexpired Permanent Resident Card I-551 Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) Issued by DHS or INS

  • Unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired U.S. visa affixed, and an I-94 indicating temporary evidence of permanent residence

Additional information for non-U.S. citizens can be found on PennDOT’s REAL ID Information for non-U.S. Citizens page .Learn more about REAL ID documentation requirements and download a printable document checklist on PennDOT’s REAL ID Document Check page .



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