Real ID enforcement to begin Oct. 1 for air travel - TribLIVE

Real ID enforcement to begin Oct. 1 for air travel - TribLIVE

The Real ID deadline is creeping back up.

If you are planning to fly on a commercial domestic flight or enter a federal building that requires acceptable identification after Oct. 1, you’ll need a Real ID-compliant driver’s license or photo ID card. Aside from the state-issued card, there are various types of Real IDs, such as a U.S. passport or card, permanent resident card and federally recognized tribal-issued photo ID, among others.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is reminding people that with the deadline less than six months away, they shouldn’t wait to begin the process of obtaining a Real ID. That means gathering the needed documents as soon as possible to leave plenty of time before the federal enforcement date.

Passed by Congress after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Real ID Act establishes federal security standards for state driver’s licenses and ID cards. A Real ID-compliant driver’s license is not necessary for driving and other routine ID requirements.

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 or military ID, must be used on or after Oct. 1.

“Although October may seem far away right now, we encourage our customers who want a Real ID to get one as soon as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We continue to focus on providing the best possible customer service to all of our customers as the federal deadline approaches.”

There is no requirement that any resident get a Real ID, and PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs. So far, PennDOT has issued an estimated 1.1 million Real IDs. They look like regular driver’s licenses except that they have a gold star logo in the upper right corner of the card.

PennDOT paused Real ID issuance in March 2020 during the pandemic and resumed issuing them in September 2020.

Also, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for Real ID from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2021, in response to covid-19 and the national emergency declaration.

Residents can get their Real ID by presenting documents for verification and processing at any driver’s license center. Federal regulations require that to be issued a Real ID, PennDOT must verify documents such as:

Proof of Identity: Including an original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed or valid, unexpired U.S. Passport.

Proof of Social Security Number: Social security card, in current legal name.

Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Examples include a current, unexpired PA driver’s license or ID card.

Proof of all Legal Name Changes: Examples include a certified marriage certificate issued by the County Court or a court order approving a legal name change or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics.

The state’s guidelines for obtaining a Real ID are online at

Paul Guggenheimer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-226-7706 or