|Posted:||December 16, 2020 10:34 AM|
|From:||Senator Maria Collett|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Reduced Fees for Seniors Applying for REAL ID Cards and Drivers Licenses|
Pennsylvania has the 5th largest elder population in the United States, which continues to grow each year. While this legislature has taken steps to protect our seniors from ever-rising property taxes and to shield them from exorbitant fees, we have an opportunity to make it easier for them to see their families, and travel throughout the United States. In passing legislation to comply with the REAL ID Act, Pennsylvania took the necessary steps forward to offer optional, but not required, identification cards and drivers’ licenses issued in the state which comply with the REAL ID requirements. The REAL ID cards include an RFID chip and additional security features which make them distinguishable from our traditional identification cards and drivers licenses, all of which come at a cost.
Our seniors have worked full careers, and due to challenges too many retirees face, countless older Pennsylvanians are now working in part-time or supplemental jobs to enhance their retirement security while meeting rising costs. Through dedicated involvement in our economy and community, we now stand on the shoulders of the generations that came before us to build a Pennsylvania worthy of their admiration.
That is why I will soon introduce legislation which will create a Senior Discount on REAL ID fees for all those that elect to make it their form of identification or their driver’s license. The Senior Discount will be at least 50% of the Real ID Fee established by the Department of Transportation, but the Department will be permitted to increase this discount above the 50% minimum. This legislation was introduced as SB 855 in the 2019-2020 session with Senators Vogel, Street, Fontana, L. Williams, Killion, Santarsiero, Farnese, Dinniman, Iovino, Brewster, Muth, Hughes, Costa and Yudichak as sponsors.
We’ve all heard the feedback from our constituents, particularly seniors, about the frustrating process of obtaining a REAL ID. Cost should not be an added burden to an already burdensome process. Please join me in cosponsoring this common sense and fair legislation which will make it easier for our seniors to travel throughout the United States.