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Deadline for Real ID pushed back again

Deadline for Real ID pushed back again

The new deadline to get a Real ID is May 7, 2025. 

Previously, the deadline to get a Real ID was in 2020. The deadline was pushed back when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down Departments of Motor Vehicles. 

According to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security, the latest extension is needed to “address the lingering impacts of the covid-19 pandemic” that have created vast backlogs for state motor vehicle departments.

“This extension will give states needed time to ensure their residents can obtain a Real ID-compliant license or identification card,” Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said. “DHS will also use this time to implement innovations to make the process more efficient and accessible. We will continue to ensure that the American public can travel safely.”

REAL ID is a 2005 federal law that affects how states issue driver's licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic commercial flight, or entering a military installation or federal facility that requires ID.

With this extension, starting May 7, 2025, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant license/identification card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to:

  • Board domestic commercial flights.
  • Enter a military base.
  • Enter a federal facility that requires ID at the door.

REAL ID-compliant versions of all Pennsylvania driver's license types are available, including commercial driver's licenses.

CDL holders are currently NOT eligible to apply for REAL ID online - you must apply in person at a PennDOT Driver License Center.

If a CDL holder chooses to get a REAL ID, they are still required to present the required documents to PennDOT.

These documents can be taken to any PennDOT Driver License Center for pre-verification:

  • Proof of Identity

    • Examples: Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised/embossed seal (not a sticker) or valid U.S. Passport
      *Please note that hospital or commemorative certificates are not acceptable
  • Proof of Social Security Number - proof must display current legal name and full nine (9) digits of the Social Security Number:

    • A Social Security card;
    • A W-2 form;
    • A SSA-1099 from;
    • A non-SSA-1099 form; or
    • A pay stub;
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address
  • Examples: Current, unexpired PA license or ID, PA vehicle registration, auto insurance card,  utility bill with the same name and address
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if applicable)
  • Examples: Certified marriage certificate or court order issued by your county's family court
    *Please note: You must show a complete name change history that links your birth certificate name to your current name. If you have a valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card with your legal name, you may use that as your name change document.

For information on REAL ID for non-U.S. citizens, please visit our REAL ID Info for Non-U.S. Citizens page.

CDL holders have two options when obtaining a REAL ID:

  1. When you opt into REAL ID, renew your CDL at the same time.
    You'll pay a one-time fee of $30, plus the applicable renewal fee. Your first REAL ID CDL will include all the time remaining on your existing product, plus four additional years. For example, if your current CDL expires in March 2022 and you get your first REAL ID in March 2019, your first REAL ID CDL will expire in March 2026. Once your first REAL ID CDL expires, you'll go back to a regular four-year renewal cycle and you won't pay any additional fees (beyond normal renewal fees) to have a REAL ID CDL vs. a non-REAL ID CDL.

  2. When you opt into REAL ID, get a duplicate CDL.
    You'll pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a duplicate fee (the current duplicate fee is $31.50). The expiration date of your first REAL ID CDL will be the same as the expiration date on your current product.
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