Cruz pleased with Pa. Real ID extension granted by Homeland Security

PHILADELPHIA, June 21 – State Rep. Angel Cruz, D-Phila., said he is pleased with the Real ID extension granted to Pennsylvania by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“This extension helps us ensure people won’t face difficulty using their IDs and driver's licenses for air travel or visits to federal facilities. Now thousands of Philadelphians, Latinos, Asians and residents of other races will continue to be able to visit their families back in their home countries,” Cruz said. “In the meantime, PennDOT is working tirelessly to start issuing Real ID compliant forms of identification.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on Friday that Pennsylvania has been granted a Real ID enforcement extension through Oct. 10, 2017, which means that Pennsylvania residents will not face access issues when entering federal facilities through that date. DHS had previously granted Pennsylvania an enforcement grace period through July 10, 2017, while PennDOT's request for an extension was pending final review.

“Preliminary work on Real ID has begun, and PennDOT estimates Real ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards will be available at the customer’s option in 2019. This will allow ample time for customers who want a Real ID product to obtain one before the final DHS effective date of October 1, 2020,” Cruz said.

The federal Real ID Act of 2005 was established by Congress and signed by President George W. Bush based on recommendations by the 9/11 Commission that was created after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. That law requires driver's licenses and ID cards to have security enhancements and to be issued to people to prove they are legally in the United States.