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Pa. seeks more time to implement REAL ID for domestic air travel

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Pennsylvania is seeking an extension from the Department of Homeland Security to make its current drivers' licenses REAL ID compliant.
Pennsylvania is seeking an extension from the Department of Homeland Security to make its current drivers' licenses REAL ID compliant.

Pennsylvania has sent a request to the Department of Homeland Security to give it an approximately two-year extension to meet REAL ID requirements for air travel and for entry into federal facilities.

As it stands, residents’ access to federal facilities without possession of REAL ID expires Oct. 10. Enforcement on commercial air travel begins Jan. 22, 2018.

However, Alexis Campbell, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said that is not enough time for the state to comply with the identification requirements.

According to a letter sent to DHS by Gov. Tom Wolf, the state seeks to implement a hybrid system for issuing the REAL ID identification cards.

It would use existing driver license center infrastructure for the intake of REAL ID required documents for vetting and scanning, and issue the cards through a central issuance process.

Also, the state will retrofit up to 13 dedicated REAL ID locations that will issue an over-the-counter REAL ID product at the time of service.

“We have developed a plan that will make it as easy as possible to opt in for a REAL ID while minimizing impacts to the rest of our customers,” PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said in a statement.

Campbell said based on talks the state has had with federal officials, the request is expected to be accepted by Homeland Security, which has indicated requests would be accepted as long as states were making progress toward implementing REAL ID.

“We feel we’ve come a long way in a short period of time,” Campbell said.

She said the state expects it will be able to have infrastructure and procedures in place to meet the final enforcement deadline of Oct. 1, 2020.

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Stacy Wescoe

Stacy Wescoe

Writer and online editor Stacy Wescoe has her finger on the pulse of the business community in the Greater Lehigh Valley and keeps you up-to-date with technology and trends, plus what coworkers and competitors are talking about around the water cooler — and on social media. She can be reached at stacyw@lvb.com or 610-807-9619, ext. 4104. Follow her on Twitter at @morestacy and on Facebook. Circle Stacy Wescoe on .

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