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REAL ID Document Check

REAL IDs will be available in the spring of 2019, and if you decide that REAL ID is right for you, there are proactive steps you can take now to ensure you are ready. PennDOT will need to verify your identity, your social security number, and your Pennsylvania residency, even if you already have a Pennsylvania driver's license or photo ID card.

Beginning in September 2018, PennDOT's 71 Driver's License Centers will be equipped to verify these documents for customers who want a REAL ID. The best thing you can do to prepare is to gather the below documents now and keep them in a safe place.

All documents MUST be original versions or certified copies (if applicable) — no photocopies will be accepted.

Proof of Identity and Lawful Status

You will need to provide ONE document proving your identity and your lawful status in the United States when applying for a REAL ID. The most common documents you can use to prove your identity are:

  • A United States birth certificate with a raised seal
    • Please note: souvenir or hospital certificates will not be accepted — it must be an original or certified copy filed with a U.S. state or territory office of vital statistics or equivalent agency in your state of birth
  • A United States passport
  • A foreign passport with original USCIS/immigration documents indicating current lawful immigration status

If you do not have your birth certificate in your possession, you need to contact your state or county Department of Health office in the state of your birth and request an original or certified copy. Some states may take up to six months to process duplicate birth certificates, so it is advisable to begin this process right away.


Proof of Social Security Number

You must present your social security card when applying for a REAL ID. Your card must be original, and it cannot be laminated.

If you do not have your social security card in your possession, you can get a replacement card from the Social Security Administration at no cost, and you may qualify to order a replacement card online. Visit the Social Security Administration's website for details and information on obtaining a replacement card.

If you do not have a social security number, you must provide an original copy of your SSA ineligibility letter.


Proof of Legal Name, Date of Birth and/or Gender Designation Change

If your current legal name, date of birth, or gender designation is different from the information on your birth certificate or legal status document, you must show legal proof of the change. Acceptable documents supporting a change include:

  • Name change or date of birth:
    • Marriage license or divorce decree
    • Court order approving a change of legal name or date of birth
    • Original or certified copy of an amended birth certificate showing a change of name
  • Gender designation:
    • A certified, amended birth certificate with a raised seal
    • A completed DL-32 form (PDF)


Proof of your Pennsylvania residency

You will need to provide TWO documents to prove your Pennsylvania residency when applying for a REAL ID. Examples of acceptable residency documents include:

  • Current, unexpired PA driver's license or photo ID card
  • A computer-generated utility bill showing your name and address
  • A W-2 form
  • Tax records
  • Lease agreements or mortgage documents