Only 19% of Pennsylvania residents have signed up for Real ID identification cards as deadline approaches

Kristen Walters

The deadline for obtaining a REAL ID is approaching in less than a year away. However, only 19 percent of Pennsylvania residents have signed up for the federally required form of identification.

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Elena Volf (Canva Pro license)

Starting on May 2, 2023, Pennsylvania residents will need a REAL ID to fly on an airplane or enter a federal facility.

The REAL ID is different from your standard Pennsylvania driver's license or identification card because you must provide additional identification documents to get one. For example, you'll need to provide your birth certification, Social Security card, two documents that show your current address, and proof of all legal name changes.

Pennsylvania residents with no REAL ID or US passport will not be allowed to board domestic or international flights within the United States after the deadline passes. Currently, only 1.6 million of Pennsylvania's 8.3 million residents have applied for a REAL ID to date.

If you have not yet obtained a REAL ID and plan to travel by air or will need to access a federal facility after May 3, 2023, you have less than a year to get your REAL ID card.

For purposes of clarification, a REAL ID card is not necessary to drive a car or vote in any election (state, local, or national.) The federally approved identification card is similarly unnecessary to access hospitals, federal courts, or the post office.

Additionally, a REAL ID card will not be needed to obtain Social Security, Veteran's Benefits, or other government public assistance benefits.

You can learn more about the requirements and process for obtaining a REAL ID card on PennDot's website.

Do you plan on getting a REAL ID, or do you think it's unnecessary?

Let us know in the comments.

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