Warren: Legislature passes measure to comply with Real ID law

HARRISBURG, May 24 – The state House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a revised Senate bill that will move Pennsylvania toward compliance with federal Real ID regulations to ensure that state residents don’t face difficulty using their IDs for air travel or visits to federal facilities.

“I’m pleased that the legislature worked cooperatively on a bipartisan, bicameral basis to find a solution on this issue. No one wants to see our community members encounter problems trying to travel by plane or enter federal buildings for work or other reasons,” said Rep. Perry Warren, D-Bucks. “This bill will authorize the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to move forward in complying with the federal Real ID Act.”

Pennsylvania had been given a deadline of June 6 to come into compliance with the federal Real ID Act, which set minimum standards for issuing identification cards. Otherwise, residents could be prohibited from using their state-issued identification to board a plane, starting in 2018, or enter certain federal buildings, starting this summer.

A 2012 state law prohibited state agencies from complying with the federal Real ID law. 

The new bill, S.B. 133, repeals the 2012 state law and requires the Department of Transportation and other agencies to comply with the 2005 Real ID Act. PennDOT would be required to provide eligible applicants the option of receiving a standard driver license or photo identification card, or one that is Real ID compliant. More details about PennDOT's implementation of the program will be available in the future.

“Under this compromise bill, no one would be forced to obtain a Real ID-compliant identification card,” Warren said. “The passage of this bill shows our commitment to meeting the federal standards set by the Real ID law, while still addressing the concerns of those residents who do not wish to obtain a Real ID. I look forward to seeing Governor Tom Wolf sign this legislation, so that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security can grant Pennsylvania another extension to bring our procedures into compliance.”

Wolf’s office indicated he will sign the bill.