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REAL ID Online Pre-Verification Frequently Asked Questions

I got a postcard telling me that I'm eligible to pre-verify for REAL ID. What does this mean?

In September 2003, PennDOT began imaging copies of customers' identifying documents as part of its initial driver's license or photo ID issuance process, and scanned versions of those documents were included in those customers' driving records. PennDOT is sending postcards to its customers who received their FIRST learner's permit, driver's license or photo ID card AFTER September 2003, informing them that they may apply for REAL ID pre-verification on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Please note that you are not pre-verified until you have completed the online pre-verification process and received confirmation from PennDOT that your documents are on file.

I know that I got my first license or ID card after September 2003, but I haven't gotten a postcard yet. Can I still apply for REAL ID pre-verification?

Yes, if you received your first license or ID after September 2003, you are eligible to apply for REAL ID pre-verification. You do not need to wait for a postcard.

I'm not sure when I got my first license or ID card. How will I know if I'm eligible to apply for online pre-verification?

PennDOT is sending postcards to its customers who established their record with the department -- i.e., got their first license or ID card -- after September 2003. If you receive a postcard in the mail inviting you to apply for online pre-verification, you are eligible to apply if you choose to. Our online pre-verification system is designed to only allow customers who established their record after September 2003 to complete the online pre-verification process.

I don't have access to the internet. Can I still apply for REAL ID pre-verification?

Yes. You can also call our Customer Call Center at 717-412-5300 or visit a PennDOT Online Messenger for assistance with pre-verification.

I have applied for pre-verification online. Now what?

Once you have completed the online pre-verification application process, PennDOT staff will review your record and determine whether the required documents are on file. If you provided an email address during the pre-verification application process, you will receive an email confirming that PennDOT received your pre-verification application. 

Once PennDOT has reviewed your record, you will receive an email stating whether your documentation is on file with the department. If you did not provide an email address, once PennDOT has reviewed your record, you will receive a postcard stating whether your documentation is on file with the department.

In order to verify that a customer's documentation is on file with us, PennDOT staff has to manually check their record thoroughly before we can verify that everything is in order. We are working diligently to process these applications as quickly as possible, but in order for us to be as thorough as we need to be, it can take some time. You will receive an email telling you whether your documents are currently on file with us, or whether you will need to bring them in to a driver license center after September 1. 

Please note that you are not pre-verified until you have completed the online pre-verification process and received confirmation from PennDOT that your documents are on file.

I received an email/postcard stating that my REAL ID documents are on file with the department and that my record has been marked as "verified." What do I do now?

Once REAL IDs are available in spring 2019, you will be able to order your REAL ID online — no need to visit a driver's license center. Keep an eye on PennDOT's REAL ID page for additional information.

I received an email/postcard stating that my REAL ID documents are not on file with the department and that I need to bring my documents into a driver's license center after September 2018. What do I need to bring?

Beginning in September 2018, you will be able to bring your REAL ID documentation into any driver's license center for pre-verification. U.S. citizens will need to present original versions or certified copies (if applicable) of the following documents, per federal regulations:

      • Proof of Identity
        • Examples: Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport
      • Proof of Social Security Number
        • Example: Social security card
          *Please note that social security card cannot be laminated or sealed in plastic and must match the name on your driver's license or ID card.
      • Proof of all Legal Name Changes
        • Examples: Marriage certificate or court order issued by your county's family court
          *Please note: You must show a complete name change history that links your birth certificate name to your current name. If you have a valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card with your legal name, you may use that as your name change document.
      • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address
        • Examples: Current, unexpired PA license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address

For more information about documents required for REAL ID and for documentation requirements for non-U.S. citizens, visit our REAL ID Document Check page.