Archive for category real id

Pennsylvania ID cards still good for a few more months at federal sites

The state announced another Real ID deferment from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Pennsylvania is getting yet another extension to comply with a federal law that requ…

Still not REAL ID-compliant: Pennsylvania begins issuing new driver licenses

The new licenses and ID cards boast “enhanced features” but still don’t satisfy federal law.

Pennsylvania residents this week began receiving updated driver licenses and identification cards that still don’t comply with federal law. 

Meeting the requirements of the 2005 REAL ID law remains a work in progress for Pennsylvania, where lawmakers just last month overturned a 2012 law signed by then-Gov. Tom Corbett forbidding compliance with the federal mandate.

“The new cards are not REAL ID-compliant,” the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says in a news release about the new licenses and ID cards. “System, building infrastructure and process changes will be necessary for Pennsylvania to issue REAL ID-compliant products.

“PennDOT anticipates that REAL ID-compliant driver licenses and identification cards will be available at customer’s option in 2019.”

Until then, Pennsylvania must continue to seek federal extensions on enforcement of REAL ID to get its residents into federal facilities and onto commercial airplanes without an acceptable second form of identification, such as a passport. 

Pennsylvania’s REAL ID fix ‘a nightmare’

Without extensions, Jan. 22, 2018, is the date Pennsylvania’s licenses and ID cards will no longer be compliant on their own for flying or accessing federal facilities. After that, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s final deadline for states to comply is Oct. 1, 2020.

PennDOT earlier this month announced the latest extension granted is good through Oct. 10, 2017.

PennDOT entered into a new contract in August 2015 with MorphoTrust USA for the design and issuance of the news licenses and ID cards. PennDOT calls the change a “major new security enhancement initiative.”

“The update is an important component of PennDOT’s ongoing work to enhance and protect the integrity of the driver license and identification card issuance process,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a statement Tuesday.

PennDOT began a pilot of the new products Monday at the Riverfront Office Center in Harrisburg, and says all driver and photo centers will transition to the new products by the end of October 2017. 

The new identification will be phased in over the next four-year renewal cycle and will replace existing products. Both current and new card designs will be in circulation during the transition period, PennDOT says.

The cards look different from current IDs and have additional enhanced security features aimed at improving fraud prevention and protection from counterfeiting and alteration.

#ICYMI: Updates to PA license & ID provide more security, but not related to REAL ID. Read our blog for more info –

— PennDOT (@PennDOTNews) June 21, 2017

Some of the enhanced features include:

Larger primary portrait and smaller ghost portrait.

2D barcode, which contain data from the front of the card unique to the cardholder.

Laser perforation: The keystone outline with “PA” is embedded into the card stock and can be observed by holding the card up to any light source

Lamination: Each card is laminated with an optically-variable pattern with the state motto, “Virtue, Liberty, Independence,” Keystone outline and “1787,” the year when the U.S. Constitution was ratified by Pennsylvania.

In addition, the magnetic strip has been eliminated on the back of the newly designed driver license and identification cards.

Kurt Bresswein may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find on Facebook.