Will Pennsylvania Change State IDs?

February 16th, 2017 Shannon O'Donnell Comments Off on Will Pennsylvania Change State IDs?

As of right now, Pennsylvania’s state IDs are a bit of a problem. The Keystone State is one of only a few states left in America that hasn’t made its drivers licenses and IDs REAL ID compliant. REAL ID is a form of identification that came about following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It is supposed to meet stricter regulations for safety and verification of identity. In REAL ID states (such as my home state of Florida), drivers and those seeking IDs must prove their identification with multiple forms of proof, and the cards that are issued have special marking on them.

state ids

Right now, Pennsylvania state IDs look like this. A Senate committee is working to change the cards to meet federal standards.

According to Philadelphia Magazine, a committee of the Pennsylvania Senate is working to push through a bill that would make Pennsylvania state IDs up-to-date with REAL ID regulations. The Department of Homeland Security has been prodding the state to upgrade its IDs, but has rolled over and granted Pennsylvania an exemption every year since 2008.

According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “The Communications and Technology Committee recommended repealing a 2012 state law that prohibited the state from moving ahead with enhanced driver’s license and identification ID card procedures to make the cards more difficult to duplicate. The REAL ID law was passed in 2005 in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks, but state officials said the requirements were too expensive and violated privacy laws by essentially creating a federal ID card.”

Governor Tom Wolf has expressed his desire to see the new state IDs be introduced so that Pennsylvania residents don’t face any “challenges” as the result of not having REAL ID cards. As it stands now, certain airports (Dulles International Airport is one of them) require holders of non-REAL ID card holders to provide additional identification – like a passport, which not everyone has – to get through the TSA security checkpoint. In January of next year, citizens without a REAL ID card will not be allowed to board commercial flights.

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