What does REAL ID mean for me?

The REAL ID Act makes requirements for licenses stricter for those who want to board domestic flights or enter a federal facility that requires ID. Beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver license, ID card, or another form of federally acceptable ID for these three purposes. Basically, if you do not get a new license or ID card that is compliant with the REAL ID standards, you will be turned away at the airport when boarding a domestic flight unless you have a passport, and Federal agencies will not accept your license or ID.

What do I need to do?

*If you received a card in the mail titled “Important Information From PennDOT About Real ID,” please follow the instructions on that card instead.

Starting in September 2018, you can bring the following documents to any PennDOT Driver License Center to be verified:

  • Proof of identity

* If you are a US citizen, any ONE of the following: Birth certificate; US passport or passport card; Certificate of US Citizenship or Consular Report of Birth Abroad; Certificate of Naturalization

* If you are a permanent resident, any ONE of the following: Green Card (I-551 card); Passport with I-551 stamp; Immigrant visa; Re-entry permit I-327.

The closest one to Chinatown is located at the intersection of 8th and Arch Streets. Then, when REAL IDs become available in Spring 2019, you can order your ID online or at the PennDOT Driver License Center. This will cost $60.50 in total — $30 as a one-time fee, and $30.50 as a renewal fee that will make your ID last for four years.