Congress passed the REAL ID act in 2005, issuing minimum-security standards for state issued drivers licenses and ID cards. The new state ID would require a lot more information than what they currently contain. The act prohibits Federal agencies such as the TSA from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that don’t meet the act’s standards. At the current time, Pennsylvania has not met these requirements. In fact, PA state legislature passed Act 38 of 2012 requiring Pennsylvania to opt out of the REAL ID. Their reason was concern with the cost to people and the Department of Transportation to reissue driver’s license to residents of the state.
Pennsylvania has obtained many extensions from the government but that soon will change. If states that aren’t in compliance, such as PA, don’t obtain another extension then as of January 22, 2018, passengers from these states will have to provide another form of ID, i.e. passport or passport card to fly anywhere even within the United States. On October 1, 2020, air travelers will need a REAL ID or another form of ID, no exceptions, for domestic travel.
More convenient and less expensive than a traditional Passport, costing $55, a Passport Card is a credit card size passport. Passport Card are proof of US citizenship and identity and are valid for 10 years if you are 16 and older, 5 years if you are under the age of 16. They are not for international travel however; they can be used for reentry into the states from Canada, Mexico, The Caribbean, and Bermuda.