In january 2018, pennsylvania driver's license not valid id for air travel


From ABC Action News - WPVI-TV Philadelphia:

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) – Beginning Jan. 22, 2018, Pennsylvania residents wanting to board a flight will need another form of identification than their driver’s license.

A Pennsylvania driver’s license will not be a proper form of identification for domestic air travel starting on that date due to the state not being compliant with the REAL ID Act. Other states not in compliance include Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Washington…

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the state does not meet the REAL ID requirements due to legislation.

“Our commonwealth does not currently meet these federal standards due to the passage, by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, of Act 38 of 2012, which bars the Governor and PennDOT from participating in REAL ID,” PennDOT states on their website.


Let’s just be done with it and go to a national ID with DNA, retinal scan & fingerprints.


What is it that Pa. and the other states whose drivers licenses are not accepted fail to do to meet the requirements?

Some of the things listed as required by Real ID are incorporating anti-counterfeit technology into the card, verifying the applicant’s identity (really, that isn’t routinely done??), and conducting background checks for employees involved in issuing driver’s licenses. Why would a state have a problem with any of those?? What unmentioned requirement(s) is/are so invasive or offensive that those states feel they can’t comply? Or are they simply reacting against being dictated to by the Federal Government?


In 2005, when this was put into law, PA, along with other states, did not like the unfunded mandate.


As a Pennsylvanian–this is a good enough reason for me. :thumbsup:


Not sure I understand what that means. The Real ID requirements were expensive to implement and the Feds weren’t coughing up the dough to cover the expenses?


I don’t understand either. Especially now that if one wants to travel they need to pay the fees for an accepted form of ID.

A US passport costs at least 80 dollars in fees.


Thank you but no.


The states are all supposed to be sovereign, with the federal government respecting their choices, just mediating between them.

For many years now, federal agencies have been pushing around the states, creating regulations that Congress never even gets to vote upon, and imposing fines and fees and expenses on taxpayers in the states without caring how each state can possibly meet the bill.

Real ID is a really egregious example of this interference with sovereign states, because the federal government demanded that every state ID follow the same template and have the same requirements. It is a federal ID, and US citizens are being deprived of the right to travel within the United States by plane if they don’t have one that suits the federal government.

That is unconstitutional. It is tyranny by the many over the few.

That is why Pennsylvania legislatures passed a law against following the Real ID provisions. They are asserting that they are one state in fifty, not one fief full of serfs.

Even if the ID requirements seem reasonable, forcing them on any state is unreasonable. If a state’s powers are not respected, the federal government or federal agency is overstepping its bounds. Here in the US, we are allowed to travel freely. We identify ourselves, but we don’t have identity papers. So yes, this is outrageous, and Pennsylvanians are being mistreated.

All that federal agencies need to do is that, when they deal with areas within state powers, they go back to making programs voluntary, and go back to consulting the states and caring about their necessities. And if the states don’t like or want a change – that is a sign that it should not be done.


The way I see it, you’re still allowed to travel freely, just not by air which is federally regulated.


That is very iffy. We do not have federal birth/death certificates or federal wedding licenses, because those are powers of the city and state. But the federal government must accept those as ID… So far, so good.

So to say that state ID based on state info is not acceptable ID for air travel -that is arrogating power over all state registries of vital status. Pennsylvanians are being treated like unpersons and uncitizens, unless they buy federal ID like a passport.

It is ridiculous and unnecessary. The federal government is in the wrong, and it should back down and apologize for overreaching its authority.


We have the same issue here in Washington. I think if you buy the enhanced license you can fly, but not the regular one. We’re not planning on flying anywhere soon. But I’ve been thinking of getting a passport card so I can drive into Canada. I’m not sure, but that may suffice for flying & it’s cheaper than the enhanced license.


We have a right to travel, but I’m unaware of a “right” to travel by plane. As pointed out by an earlier poster, because air travel is federally regulated, a federally-valid ID does not seem totally unreasonable. No one is saying a “Real ID” conforming ID is needed to cross state lines. My daughter works at the headquarters of a federal agency in D.C.,and a Real ID-compliant card is needed for visitors to enter her building. My state got an extension but is finally in the process of changing our licenses to comply.

Related to all of this, of course, is how quickly a number if states began to issue drivers’ licenses to “undocumented” people. It’s not clear how their identities can be accurately established to the degree required by the law.


meh, won’t matter in a few years once we all have “666” tattooed" on the back of our heads and a bar code embedded in our wrists.



It does look like Pennsylvanians are going to have to get an idea that meets federal standards if they want to fly. Or perhaps the recalcitrant states will be given another waver.


I agree wholeheartedly. Further in my opinion the (yes I know this is a bit extreme) but passports should be the only forms of identification allowed for air travel (other types ie. bus,train etc…) within the U.S.




And Social Security card while we’re at it.


Believe it or not there are a lot of people who don’t drive.


I’m aware of that, but in my province applying for a provincial photo ID has the same requirements as applying for a driver’s license:

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