The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has postponed the enforcement date for Real ID from Oct. 1, 2020, to Oct. 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said in a news release Thursday.
PennDOT closed all driver and photo license centers on March 16 and paused Real ID issuance in the state in the interest of public health. Centers will reopen no sooner than April 3. PennDOT also asked the Department of Homeland Security to consider extending the enforcement deadline.
“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to our concerns, as well as the concerns from our fellow states regarding the need for a postponement on Real ID enforcement in the midst of this national emergency,” PennDOT acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian said.
Real ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Real ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after Oct. 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.
There is no requirement that any Pennsylvania resident obtain a Real ID, and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once issuance has resumed.