Department of Homeland Security grants PA REAL ID enforcement extension

October 25, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted Pennsylvania an extension on the Real ID Act through Oct. 10, 2018.

This extension means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities or boarding commercial aircraft through that date. Current PennDOT-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards will remain acceptable identification at least through this date.

The REAL ID Act of 2005 was introduced to set standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards acceptable by federal agencies for official purposes, including boarding a commercial flight.

PennDOT plans to submit a request to DHS for an additional extension until Oct. 1, 2020. Assuming DHS grants that extension, Pennsylvania residents will be able to use their current driver's license or ID card to board domestic commercial flights through Oct. 1, 2020. If an extension isn’t granted, however, Pennsylvania travelers will need a REAL ID-approved form of ID to board domestic commercial flights beginning Oct. 10, 2018.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, no more extensions will be granted, and all states will be required to use REAL ID driver’s licenses, U.S. passports, military IDs, or an alternative approved ID.

Penn State will keep travelers informed of all status updates on and via the Travel Listserv:

For the latest information and answers to questions about Pennsylvania’s compliance status, travelers should visit

PennDOT is developing a plan that will make REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards available to Pennsylvania residents by March 2019. This will allow time for customers who want a REAL ID product to get one before the final DHS effective date of Oct. 1, 2020. Information on REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions, is available at

Information about obtaining a U.S. passport is available at The Multimedia and Print Center, on the Penn State University Park Campus, is now a full-service passport location and offers a convenient option (

Travelers are also encouraged to review TSA’s current list of acceptable forms of ID at

Last Updated October 25, 2017