AVOCA -- Big changes are coming to what you can use as a proper form of identification.
Starting on January 30, 2017 all federal buildings, military bases, and nuclear power plants may no longer allow a Pennsylvania driver's license as a federally acceptable form of identification.
Pennsylvania is one of nine states whose driver's licenses are not compliant with the Department of Homeland Security's new federal ID standards.
And it doesn't stop there: starting in January of 2018, a PA driver's license won't be an acceptable form of identification to get past airport security, even if you're flying domestically.
- Driver's licenses from a federally compliant state or photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)
- U.S. passport
- U.S. passport card
- DHS trusted traveler cards (Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI, FAST)
- U.S. military ID (active duty or retired military and their dependents, and DoD civilians)
- Permanent resident card
- Border crossing card
- DHS-designated enhanced driver's license
- Airline or airport-issued ID (if issued under a TSA-approved security plan)
- Federally recognized, tribal-issued photo ID
- HSPD-12 PIV card
- Foreign government-issued passport
- Canadian provincial driver's license or Indian and Northern Affairs Canada card
- Transportation worker identification credential
- U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Employment Authorization Card (I-766)
- U.S. Merchant Mariner Credential
New signs from TSA are already up inside the Wilkes-Barre Scranton International Airport.
"Why isn't your license good enough," asked Kerry Urban of Luzerne.
"I think it's ridiculous," said Nancy Pivovarnik. "They should make the licenses like they're supposed to be if they have to be compliant with the federal standards."
PennDOT officials point out that the Pennsylvania legislature has blocked any changes to driver's licenses that would make them compliant with the new federal rules. Lawmakers argue it's a costly federal mandate that states should not have to pay.
"At this point, Pennsylvania law bars PennDOT from complying," said Rich Kirkpatrick, Communications Director for the PA Department of Transportation. "If the law is repealed, it would take us 18 to 24 months to make all of the system changes needed to bring the state into full compliance. It is likely Homeland Security would grant another extension if the law is repealed, but that is their decision. PennDOT has made many upgrades to the driver license security over time."
U.S. Marshals tell Newswatch16 they will still accept Pennsylvania driver licenses even after that January 30th effective date at the federal courthouse in Scranton.
Representatives with the Tobyhanna Army Depot reiterated that there are currently no changes to entry policies and you can still use a driver's license or passport to get on the installation.
At this time, PennDOT nor any state representatives who spoke with Newswatch16 are aware of any pending legislation to resolve this situation.