HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Governor Josh Shapiro is helping streamline the REAL ID process by expanding acceptable documents for Social Security identification.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced Wednesday they will now accept five documents for those seeking to obtain a REAL ID. Before this change, only a Social Security Card was accepted.

Those interested can now use the following:

  • Social Security Card
  • A W-2 Form
  • A SSA-1099 form
  • A non-SSA-1099 form
  • A pay stub with the applicant’s name and full Social Security Number on it

“Governor Shapiro has made it clear that the Commonwealth should help people succeed, not get in the way. Under his direction, PennDOT is working to make our services more streamlined and effective for the people of Pennsylvania,” PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said.  “Obtaining a REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID card is optional in Pennsylvania, but we want the process to be as convenient as possible while still following federal regulations. We have confirmed that accepting these additional documents does not compromise the security or integrity of the REAL ID program.” 

These changes are a direct result of a bipartisan collaboration between the Shapiro Administration and the General Assembly, according to the release.

“Having proposed similar legislation this session, I’m naturally happy to see Gov. Shapiro mirror the language of my bill in expanding acceptable forms of identification for use in purchasing a REAL ID,” said Representative Kerry Benninghoff, who serves as Republican chairman of the House Transportation Committee. “While the application guidelines must be strict, they must also be realistic. In this case, there is certainly more than one legal way for Pennsylvanians to show proof of having a Social Security Number.”

With this adjustment, there still are no changes to the rules surrounding the name, as it appears, on the proof of Social Security Number. The name on the proof must still be the current legal name of the applicant. If not, the customer must update their name on the documents and then provide updated proof of Social Security Number in order to apply.

What is REAL ID used for?

Beginning on May 7, 2025, Pennsylvania will need a REAL-ID-compliant license, identification card or other form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board domestic commercial flights, enter military bases and enter federal facilities that require ID at the door. REAL ID was supposed to start on May 3, 2023, but the Department of Homeland Security pushed the date back in December 2022.

Those interested in getting a REAL ID, which is not a requirement, can do so in three ways. Customers can order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified and their REAL ID will be mailed to them; they can visit any PennDOT Driver License Center that is open for driver’s license services or they can visit any of the 13 REAL Id Centers and receive their products that day.

REAL ID will cost a one-time fee of $30, plus the applicable renewal fee (which is currently $36.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license and $38.50 for a photo ID). To date, PennDOT has issued approximately 2 million REAL ID products, according to the release.

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For more information about REAL ID, visit the DMV’s website for details.