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December 23, 2016

Pennsylvania driver's licenses to soon expire as valid form of flight ID

The change will take place as of Jan. 22, 2018

Transportation Security
Pennsylvania Driver's License Pennsylvania Department of Transportation /for PhillyVoice

A Pennsylvania driver's license sample.

Beginning on Jan. 22, 2018, a Pennsylvania-issued driver’s license will no longer be an approved form of identification for use by passengers taking domestic flights.

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the change has to do with the enforcement of the REAL ID Act, with which a Pennsylvania-issued driver’s license isn’t in compliance.

The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, establishes the minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies, like TSA, from accepting licenses and identification cards for certain official purposes, including boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft, from states that do not meet these minimum standards and have not received an extension for compliance from DHS, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security notes.

The Pennsylvania driver's license does not meet the minimum security standards requirement. Other non-compliant states include Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington, while New Jersey has an extension that allows federal agencies to accept driver's licenses until Oct. 10, 2017.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began posting signs at airports earlier this month to inform passengers of the pending change.

Pennsylvania residents can alternately use a passport, military ID, permanent resident card or any approved documents accepted at TSA checkpoints as valid forms of identification for domestic air travel.