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Pennsylvania REAL ID

Starting October 2020, a Pennsylvania driver’s license or photo identification card will not be enough to fly domestically. At that time, all Pennsylvania residents will be required to have a “REAL ID” or some other federally-accepted form of identification in order to fly domestically or enter federal and military buildings. Currently, persons holding a state-issued driver’s license can fly anywhere in the United States. The REAL ID will feature a golden star in the upper right hand corner. This is how TSA and other government agencies can verify that a person is holding a legitimate REAL ID.

The process of obtaining a REAL ID is slightly more complicated than applying for a regular, state-issued driver’s license or identification. To obtain a REAL ID, the applicant must present four different types of documents to PennDOT:

  • Proof of Identity—examples include an original or certified copy of a birth certificate (which has been filed with the state office of vital records) OR a valid U.S. Passport;
  • Proof of Social Security Number—It is required to present a valid social security card, not just a number;
  • Two proofs of current, physical Pennsylvania address—examples include a current, unexpired PA license or ID card, a PA vehicle registration, an auto insurance card, or a utility bill (with the same name and address);
  • Proof of all legal name changes (if applicable)—marriage certificate, court order, amended birth certificate or divorce decree

A full list of accepted documents can be found here:

Keep in mind that if you received your first PA driver’s license, learner’s permit, or photo ID card after September 1, 2003, PennDOT may already have your REAL ID documentation on file and you may be able to apply for your REAL ID online.

For more information on the Pennsylvania REAL ID, visit

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