Get pre-verified now for your REAL ID

In an effort to keep you informed on the state’s progress in implementing REAL ID, I wanted to pass along an important update from PennDOT. The agency says it is now pre-verifying residents for REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses or ID cards.

As you may know, beginning in October 2020, you will need a federally accepted ID (whether it’s a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. Passport, military ID, etc.) for identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building. Although getting a REAL ID is not mandatory, you’ll want to get one if you want to use your PA driver’s license or state-issued photo ID as identification for these purposes.

The cards will become available in March 2019, but PennDOT is encouraging people to become pre-verified beforehand.

If you received your first driver’s license after September 2003, the agency may already have the necessary documents on file. In that case, you can apply online for REAL ID pre-verification.

However, if you received your license before that time, it is likely PennDOT does not have the necessary information on file. That means you will need to bring specific documents to a driver’s license center so they can be verified in person. Find out which items you should bring with you here.

After REAL IDs become available next March, you’ll have three options for obtaining one. If you are pre-verified, you can order your REAL ID online. If you’re not pre-verified, you can visit a PennDOT driver’s license center or REAL ID center to have your documents verified. PennDOT is in the process of adding a new REAL ID center in Pittsburgh.

A REAL ID costs $30 plus a renewal fee (the current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year, non-commercial driver’s license or a photo ID). The expiration date of the initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on your current license plus an additional four years, unless you are over 65 and have a two-year license.

You can learn more here.