Berks

Berks passport applications up ahead of stricter ID laws

'I think there's definitely going to be a backlog'

Berks passport applications up ahead...

READING, Pa. - Pretty soon, a Pennsylvania ID might not be enough to get you on a flight or into a federal building.

"Real ID is a federal law that's being enforced by the Department of Homeland Security," said Ron Young, a PennDOT spokesman.

The Real ID act is a set standard for states issuing identification. States that don't meet the federal standards either need to get in compliance, or you might need a second form of ID.

"Pennsylvania is not in compliance with it right now," said Young. "Currently, the state law does not allow PennDOT to take action to make our IDs compliant with the Real ID act, so until that occurs, we can't really do anything."

And if Pennsylvania doesn't comply with the Real ID requirements soon, you may need a passport to get on a plane, even if you're not leaving the country

"We've already seen an uptick in passports, and I just expect it to go up from there," said acting Berks County Prothonotary Jonathan Del Collo.

Del Collo said his office is already booked solid for passport appointments for a month.

"I think there's definitely going to be a backlog. There's no doubt about it," he said.

If the state does not comply by June 6, you won't be able to use your Pennsylvania ID to access federal buildings and military bases, and by January 2018, you'll need another piece of identification to get on a plane.

Many hope state lawmakers don't let it come to that.

"Maybe they can fast track that and get the law passed and so that Pennsylvania can maybe get in under the wire," said Del Collo.


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