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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 21, 2016 12:42 PM
From: Representative Ed Neilson
To: All House members
Subject: Federal REAL ID Act Compliance Package

In the near future, I plan to introduce two pieces of legislation in an effort to bring the Commonwealth into compliance with federal REAL ID requirements.

The federal REAL ID Act of 2005 established security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. Further, the act prohibited federal agencies and facilities from accepting such forms of identification from states that did not meet compliance standards.

In 2012, the Pennsylvania General Assembly favorably passed Act 38, commonly known as the REAL ID Nonparticipation Act. This legislation prohibited the governor and state agencies from participating in the REAL ID Act. At that time, the legislature was concerned that conforming to federal REAL ID requirements would result in an invasion of privacy for residents as well as a significant cost to the Commonwealth.

Due to our noncompliance, Pennsylvanians will not be able to use their driver’s licenses to enter federal facilities, military bases, and nuclear power plants beginning January 30, 2017. Looking ahead to 2018, driver’s licenses will also not meet identification requirements for commercial flights. This inconvenience to our constituents represents a responsibility of the legislature to rectify the issue. Therefore, please join me in cosponsoring the following legislation.

Document #1

Legislation repealing Act 38 of 2012

The United States Department of Homeland Security has indicated that the Commonwealth may request an extension for compliance if we progress towards meeting outstanding requirements and provide reasoning for continued noncompliance. PennDOT has indicated that the state’s noncompliance is largely due to the prohibition included in Act 38 of 2012. Therefore, repealing Act 38 of 2012 is essential in order to allow PennDOT to implement federal standards.

Document #2

Resolution urging PennDOT to comply with REAL ID requirements

PennDOT’s cooperation in implementing federal standards is essential in order to fully comply with the REAL ID Act and prevent unnecessary inconveniences for our constituents. Therefore, we must urge PennDOT to take the steps necessary to swiftly make necessary improvements.

Introduced as HB2433