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Will I need a second form of ID other than my Pennsylvania driver’s license to fly on a plane after Oct. 10?
After speaking with PennDOT, the answer is most likely no. A Pennsylvania driver’s license or state issued photo ID card will likely still be accepted when flying domestically.
However, there is a possibility that it will not. An official answer will not be known until Pennsylvania applies for and is either approved or denied for an extension to federal Real ID requirements.
The federal Real ID law was passed in 2005 and requires heightened security standards for government issued identification that are accepted at federally regulated areas like boarding federally regulated airplanes or entering military bases.
Pennsylvania is one of roughly 17 states not in compliance with the Real ID law, but is under an extension of the law’s requirements, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This means technically current Pennsylvania driver’s licenses do not comply with Real ID standards but can still be used similar to an identification card that is compliant.
The current extension from the Real ID requirements for Pennsylvania runs through Oct. 10.
PennDOT is preparing to request an additional extension, according to PennDOT spokeswoman Alexis Campbell. The extension is discretionary, but Campbell said PennDOT is confident it will receive an additional extension since the state is moving toward compliance.
In 2017, the Pennsylvania legislature passed a bill that was signed into law by Gov. Tom Wolf allowing PennDOT to seek Real ID compliance, which was previous barred by a law passed by the state in 2012 over privacy concerns.
New Real ID compliant driver’s licenses and photo identification cards are expected to be available to state residents beginning in spring 2019, ahead of the federal government’s full enforcement of Real ID beginning Oct. 1, 2020, according to PennDOT’s website.
Pennsylvania residents are not required to get a Real ID compliant identification card, and noncompliant cards will still be accepted for all state purposes, such as interactions with police, even after Oct. 1, 2020.
If the state does not receive another extension, or a resident chooses not to get a compliant card, an additional form of identification will be required for things like boarding planes or entering military bases.
Acceptable forms of identification include a U.S. Passport, U.S. Department of Defense identification card, a border crossing card or a Department of Homeland Security trusted traveler card, according to the Transportation Security Administration’s website.
To date, only one U.S. territory, American Samoa, but no states, have been deemed out of compliance and not given an extension.
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