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May 12, 2020

PennDOT will use current photos for license, ID renewals during COVID-19 crisis

Pennsylvania residents can avoid a trip to the DMV by completing the process online

Transportation Drivers
PennDOT Driver's License Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Most Pennsylvania residents can now renew their driver's licenses and ID cards online without visiting a DMV during the COVID-19 crisis. New cards will use the most current photo on file with PennDOT.

Pennsylvania residents with expiring driver's licenses and ID cards will not need to go to the DMV during the COVID-19 crisis, PennDOT announced Tuesday.

The department will be issuing renewed licenses and ID cards online or through the mail using the most current photo on file.

"Using a customer's existing photo will help limit the number of people in our driver and photo license centers, and by extension, help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19," said acting PennDOT secretary Yassmin Gramian. "This new process is not only a convenience, but it will help to keep our customers and staff safe."

The changes apply to both non-commercial driver's licenses and photo ID cards, provided there are no corrections or changes other than a change of address.

Card holders who renewed their licenses or IDs on or before May 10, 2020 will receive a camera card in the mail and will need to visit a PennDOT Photo License Center to obtain an updated photo. Non-U.S. citizens also are required to visit an open driver's license center in person to complete a transaction.

Expiration dates on driver's licenses, photo ID cards, learner's permits and camera cards scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020, have been extended until June 30, 2020.

PennDOT will continue to send an invitation to renew to each driver three months prior to license expiration. Individuals age 65 or older have the option of renewing their license every two years, instead of the standard four years.

The issuance of REAL ID is currently suspended as a mitigation effort in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline until October 1, 2021.

Once REAL ID issuance has resumed, customers with a non-REAL ID product can upgrade to a REAL ID and their new product will include any time remaining on their current product, plus an additional four years.