PA Driver’s License Not Valid ID For Future Air Travel

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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.

The Department of Homeland Security lists other forms of approved identification:

  • 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 "If the law is repealed, it would take us 18  to 24 months to make all of the system changes needed to bring the state into full compliance.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.



  • Kimberly Hosler

    Apparently we are all going to have to get passports and it PA going to pay for them?? I was born in NJ and told i need a new birth certificate if i want to get a passport – this truly sucks.

    • magicmikexxsm

      KIMBERLY HOSLER not very bright are you..Pa said it would cost 300 million to redo and send out new ones….you think that is money wisely spent???? if you read my earlier post, it looks like our current Pa license has all the qualifying request that the feds why isn’t Pa’s license good….

      • Jay

        Why would they pay for it when they can smack the meat to the citizens of PA? Apparently they haven’t found a way to make you directly pay for it….YET.

  • Mrs. Collins

    My PA license is no longer an acceptable form of ID and my Birth Certificate is no longer acceptable as I was born in Hudson County, New Jersey. Who the heck am I ?? I don’t understand why that State doesn’t come compliant to benefit all Pennsylvanians. I fell like an illegal citizen born legally in the United States. What next marriage licenses ??

  • tired old guy

    You can blame the left wing liberal “open borders” crowd, the ACLU and the Democrats who fought tooth and nail to keep drivers licenses from being verified for citizenship along with the voter`s ID act. It will take some time to get our Country back and “Make America Great” again. In the meantime let`s get that wall built and put E-verify in force for all prospective employees. Citizens first, as in this dangerous and terrorist filled world we need to know who is in our Country and flying on our planes and who respects our laws and our Country and who does not. Its a new environment now and things will be changing but obviously it will take some time to correct the last twenty or so years of canned rhetoric from elite, lying, self serving politicians who never meant a word they said and that includes BOTH parties. I could be wrong, but so far it looks like we have a leader going into the White House who says what he means and means what he says.

  • magicmikexxsm

    This law doesn’t make sense…here are the requirements the feds say need to be on your license.
    ” A Real ID-compliant form of identification requires the following pieces of data:”
    Full legal name
    Date of birth
    Unique identifying number
    Principal residence address
    Front-facing photograph of the applicant………….

    Now if all you people pull out your drivers license and look at it , it has all these requirements on it.
    SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM FEDS????????????


  • Mickey Roberts

    It’s true that I am B U T T H U R T that my lying cheating politician hillary lost but that shouldn’t be taken into consideration when reading my seriously uneducated rants about the Republican Party! I know now from doing my homework that this and the gas tax all came about when Rendell was in office and all that casino money got swooshed away to the big cities as did the act 13 money that was gonna dissolve property taxes and rebuild infrastructure!

    • SayIT

      Wrong. The Republicans in office NOW have chosen not to follow a govt change that occurred 12 years ago. The Real ID Act gave 12 years for States to get ready. Republicans have had control since 2010 and have done NOTHING except raise gas prices at the pump.

      • Jack Irvin

        Real ID act is another way for politicians to screw American taxpayers, where do they get off forcing us to pay to prove who we are, we have a government full of self serving criminals

  • Sam I Am

    Along with the gas tax, and an inevitable vehicle registration cost increase, I can see the cost of our drivers license going up very soon indeed.
    Always remember this.

    They never make a change that benefits you.

    • Supporter of America

      Its not for us to worry, as I’m sure ISIS and the others are compliant with Federal requirements. It is ridiculous that Canada Driver’s Licenses are compliant and ours aren’t. You’re an American, grab the lube…..this might be uncomfortable. You would think we’d be use to it by now.

    • How about a little reason here

      Probably a US Passport or US Passport card. The card limits you to travel to Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean, and Bermuda, and costs less than the standard passport.

      The traditional Passport book cost $110 and the Passport card costs $30. (Google for details in how to apply.)

  • Karen Terry

    So the state of PA are more into making sure people have the right to use transgender bathroom issue instead of doing updates for everyone.

    • SayIT

      No. PA state legislators have spent the last six years raising taxes on vehicle gas and trying to privatize the LCB and public pension reform. Both issues of which they have no power over since they are part of the state Constitution.

  • Ima S.

    So, I was born & raised in America but I won’t be able to take a plane between states, because I happen to live in PA, but foreigners with green cards can show them as an acceptable form of ID and hop on a plane?

    • WarningFakeNews

      Right. Not on this list is a photocopy of a court order to appear for a hearing on your immigration case, unless something has changed, I believe that this also qualifies to get you on the plane. A photocopy.

  • Bill Gallagher

    PA licenses EXCEED the federal requirement, byt constututionally, we cannot tie our PA license plates to the federal database; also the Full Faith and Credit clause of the US Constituition makes the (piss-poor) federal standard moot.

    Now, all we need to do is get the Supreme Court to accept the cases from the states that will not join this illegal scheme from the feds, and decide in favor of the Constitution.

    Of course, you can always go and vote (without an ID) and change the government if you want.

  • Brenda K

    Wow!! I guess the Dept. of State will “clean up” on this one. At the price of 150.00 for a passport, that is a lot of money.

  • mickey roberts

    And where are the moron republican politicians in Harrisburg? Busy with gashole business? This is short sighted and plain old lazy on their part. Since most people flying out of AVP are from this backwards state, it will have an effect here. They should be scrambling to fix this giant fussup TONITE! Make the gas companies [pay for it.

    • sc

      last i knew…i was born an American….Not a Pennsylvanian. So i need a Passport to fly to any of the 50 states of the (lmao)”Union”?
      they can shove the new america up their a$&!

    • Brent Backhus

      Hey Mickey it those DemoRATS that are causes all those problems. Well in a couple days it will be getting Great again. You DemoRATS lost we Conservatives won.

      • wnepcommenter

        Actually Obama opposed it while McCain strongly supported it. I also voted for Trump (before you make the assumption that I’m a liberal) but even a broken clock is right twice a day. Republicans now have control of the presidency, senate, and house so hopefully Real ID is repealed before it causes any real damage.

      • Skeptical

        As the other comment notes, this was passed through a Republican Congress (though many Democrats seemed to have voted for it as well) and approved by a Republican President in 2005. Then the PA General Assembly’s opposition to the act was championed by a Republican representative and signed off by a republican Governor. You can’t just blame the other guys for every problem, it’s unproductive. Both parties had a hand in this.

  • Robert Berkoski

    Evidently who ever wrote up the DHS requirements should not be in that job. It states this taken from their site; “Driver’s licenses or other state photo identity cards issued by Department of Motor Vehicles (or equivalent)”! And then it states it would take 18 to 24 months to fix it. Must be the same people that designed the so called round-about at the airport? And here we have numerous agencies breaking the rules. 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. And these are supposed to be restricted places not many people can get into?

      • How about a little reason here

        …and he’ll get to that as soon as he’s finished walking on water, turning water into wine, and feeding the multitudes from a single fish.

  • Gerry S

    So if you get called to Jury duty at a federal court house you can just mail your response form back with the statement “As a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I am unable to enter your hallowed grounds and therefore unable to complete your jury duty request”

  • Franko

    “Why isn’t your license good enough,” — Well because when this was mandated a few years back, our previous Governor was more concerned with being friends with the Natural Gas Drilling Companies than following thru with the federal requirements — we had a couple of years to budget this in, and of course now it isn’t feasible because the state would have to come up with this money all at once to upgrade our systems.

    • Hal Donahue

      Boo hoo Laura.. get a passport and broaden your horizon.. there are other places out there besides Pennsylvania and the surrounding states

      • Rdkdave

        BooHoo Hal. Why in god’s name do we need to get a passport to fly to Florida, or any other state in our own nation. Passports are for foreign travel, not domestic. Idiot.

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