House panel approves Real ID bill

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – A House committee has voted out legislation to change a 2012 law that bars the state from participating in the federal REAL ID Act.

Senate Bill 133 was approved by the State Government Committee on Monday after an amendment to allow PennDOT to issue both compliant and non-compliant IDs.

People who apply for a complaint, or voluntary travel ID, would have to pay the full cost of issuing the identification.

Driver’s licenses and photo identification cards that do not comply with the REAL ID Act would have to be prominently marked that the ID is not compliant.

Rep. Tommy Sankey (R-Clearfield/Cambria) said the two-tiered system is patterned after legislation in Arizona.

“Pennsylvania residents would be able to choose between the current form of driver’s license or photo identification and a voluntary travel ID that works for air travel or admission to military installations and federal buildings,” Sankey said. “The bill also prevents the state government from mandating purchase of the voluntary travel ID.”

Rep. Matt Gabler (R-Clearfield/Elk) said the legislation would satisfy the requirements of the federal REAL ID law, but also preserve the freedom of choice for Pennsylvanians who prefer the current driver’s license or photo identification card.

The legislation now goes to the full House.

Federal authorities have given Pennsylvania a deadline of June 6 to comply with the law. After that, federal agencies and nuclear power plants may not accept a Pennsylvania driver’s license for official purposes.

Beginning in January 2017, Real ID standards will be required to get into a federal building and to board a commercial aircraft.

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