Congress passed the Real ID Act in 2005. The law sets new validity requirements for state driver’s licenses. Video provided by Newsy
Here’s news for the many Pennsylvanians who still need to get a Real ID driver’s license.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has postponed the Oct. 1 deadline for upgrading to the identification you’ll eventually need to board a plane. U.S. Department of Homeland Security moved the Real ID enforcement date to Oct. 1, 2021, it was announced Thursday.
So maybe for some people this is a bit of saving grace.
Americans were supposed to have a Real ID compliant identification in order to pass through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint or enter a federal building starting Oct. 1.
However, to encourage people to stay at home during coronavirus, Trump announced during a press conference on that the deadline is pushed back. No new deadline has been announced.
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Are PennDOT offices open?
No. All Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers in Pennsylvania were closed on March 16, and will reopen no sooner than April 2.
My driver’s license is expiring. What should I do?
Driver and vehicle online services are available at no additional fees and include the following:
- Driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals
- Driver-history services
- Changes of address
- Driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters
- Ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee
- Driver license and photo ID duplicates
- Driver exam scheduling
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Expired licenses, parking permits, overdue inspections:
Driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16 through March 31 will now be valid until April 30.
The same applies to vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections, along with disability parking placards.
So what is REAL ID?
It’s a controversial program passed into federal law in 2005. The Department of Homeland Security says it establishes “minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses.”
The upgraded licenses are the final phase of the Real ID Act of 2005, which Congress passed on recommendation from the 9/11 Commission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The act aims to provide “minimum security standards” for the issuance of identification nationwide.
DHS says REAL ID is a national set of standards, making sure all states’ licenses verify identity documents the same way.
The law set a deadline for state licenses to be REAL ID compliant. Past that deadline, the federal government says noncompliant state licenses won’t be accepted for a number of functions — such as boarding a domestic flight or entering secure federal buildings or military bases.
Will TSA accept my expired license?
TSA is allowing some grace for those who haven’t been able to get their licenses renewed amid the coronavirus pandemic. But it depends on the date of expiration.
TSA started allowing people to use a license that expired after March 1, 2020, as identification at airport security checkpoints for one year after the expiration date. TSA plans to keep this policy in place until 60 days after the national emergency is lifted.
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