2009-12-24 / Local & State

PA Receives REAL ID Extension

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has granted Pennsylvania an extension on implementing the federal REAL ID Act, PennDOT said Monday.

The extension allows Pennsylvania residents to continue using PA driver’s licenses and identification cards as ID for official federal purposes, i.e. boarding a commercial aircraft, entering a nuclear power plant or federal facility that requires identification, beyond Dec. 31, 2009.

“When we requested the extension, we told Homeland Security staff that we are not committing the commonwealth to comply with the REAL ID Act,” said Kurt J. Myers, PennDOT’s deputy secretary for safety administration. “We have been clear from the beginning that unless the federal government fully funds REAL ID, Pennsylvania does not intend to participate.”

Pennsylvania has long been and continues to be a leader among states in the security of its driver’s license products, processes, systems and facilities. Regardless of what happens with REAL ID, PennDOT remains committed to enhancing the security of its products, processes and facilities in a continuing effort to safeguard the integrity of its driver licensing and identification card systems.

The REAL ID Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2005, was an attempt to create nationwide minimum standards for states to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards. The law requires changes to state standards, procedures and requirements for the issuance of driver’s licenses and identification cards, if they are to be accepted as identity documents by the federal government.

May 10, 2011, remains the deadline for full compliance with the REAL ID Act.

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