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REAL ID Document Check

REAL IDs are now available, 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.

PennDOT's Driver License Centers are now 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.

Want to make sure you have everything you need? Download our printable REAL ID Document Checklist!

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. 

If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, acceptable documents include:

  • A United States birth certificate with a raised seal, issued by an authorized government agency, including U.S. territories and Puerto Rico
    • 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 valid, unexpired  United States passport or passport card
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (USCIS Form N-560 or Form N-561)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS-240, DS-Form 1350 or FS-Form 545)
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Unexpired Employment Authorization Card (EAD) issued by DHS; Forms I-766 or Form 1-688B
  • Valid, Unexpired Permanent Resident Card I-551 Permanent Resident Card (Green Card) Issued by DHS or INS
  • Unexpired foreign passport with an unexpired U.S. visa affixed, and an I-94 indicating temporary evidence of permanent residence

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. 

Some non-U.S. citizens may be required to provide additional information. Additional information for non-U.S. citizens can be found here.

Proof of Social Security Number

You must present one of the following documents when applying for a REAL ID (NOTE: Proof of Social Security Number must be in your current legal name and display the full nine-digit number):

    • A Social Security card;
    • A W-2 form;
    • A SSA-1099 from;
    • A non-SSA-1099 form; or
    • A pay stub;

The name on your social security proof MUST MATCH the name on your proof of identity document. Social Security Cards must also be original.

If you can't find your social security card, 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 need to visit a Social Security office to obtain a replacement card, use this tool to find the location nearest you.

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

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
  • PA vehicle registration card
  • Auto insurance card
  • A computer-generated utility bill showing your name and address
  • A W-2 form
  • Tax records
  • Lease agreements or mortgage documents

Proof of Legal Name or Date of Birth Change

If your current legal name or date of birth is different from the information on your birth certificate or legal status document, you must show legal proof of the change. Please note: If you are using a passport as your proof of identity and your passport reflects your current name, YOU DO NOT NEED TO SHOW PROOF OF NAME CHANGE.

If you have been married more than once, you need to show a marriage certificate that shows the transition between names. You do NOT need to show divorce paperwork UNLESS you returned to your maiden name.

For additional information on name changes, visit our Name Change Information page.

Acceptable documents supporting a change include:

  • Name change or date of birth change:
    • Certified marriage certificate(s) for each marriage to track name changes, issued by your county's family court
    • 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)