Federal REAL ID Enforcement Begins Oct. 1, 2021

PennDOT has surpassed 1 million optional REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses, ID cards

Harrisburg, PA – With only six months left until the federal enforcement of REAL ID begins for commercial domestic air travel and other federal purposes, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reminding Pennsylvania residents who want a REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards to gather their needed documents as soon as possible to ensure they leave plenty of time to get their REAL ID before the federal enforcement date. 

To date PennDOT has issued approximately 1.1 million REAL ID products. 

REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes, such as boarding a domestic flight or entering a federal building that requires federally acceptable ID upon entry. A federally acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used for these purposes on and after October 1, 2021. 

There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

“Although October may seem far away right now, we encourage our customers who want a REAL ID to get one as soon as possible,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “We continue to focus on providing the best possible customer service to all of our customers as the federal deadline approaches.”

Based on data from other states offering an optional REAL ID program, PennDOT projected that 1.3 million of its customers would get a REAL ID prior to the federal deadline of October 1, 2021. Having crossed the threshold of issuing 1 million REAL ID-compliant products in December 2020, PennDOT is well-positioned to reach this target by the federal enforcement deadline.

Since March 1, 2019, PennDOT has processed about 5.4 million customers, with more than 1.1 million individuals choosing to opt into the REAL ID program. The remaining 4.3 million have chosen not to participate or use an alternative federally acceptable form of ID come the October deadline. 

PennDOT paused REAL ID issuance in March 2020 due to COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health and resumed issuing REAL IDs in September 2020.

Additionally, the federal Department of Homeland Security postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration. 

“We want to do everything we can to encourage residents interested in applying for a REAL ID to start the process now and be aware of all the proper documentation needed,” said Gramian. “This will help ensure our customers have their REAL ID well in advance of the October 1, 2021 deadline.”

Customers can obtain a REAL ID by presenting documents for verification and processing at any driver license center. Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the below documents:

  • Proof of Identity: Examples include original or certified copy of a birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics with a raised seal/embossed or valid, unexpired, U.S. Passport;
  • Proof of Social Security Number: Social security card, in current legal name;
  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address: Examples include a current, unexpired PA driver’s license or identification card, vehicle registration or a utility bill with the same name and address; and  
  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (if current legal name is different than what is reflected on proof of identity document): Examples include a certified marriage certificate(s) issued by the County Court for each marriage, court order(s) approving a change in legal name or amended birth certificate issued by the State Office of Vital Records/Statistics. If current name is the same as what is reflected on proof of identity document (usually birth certificate or passport), a customer does not need to show proof of legal name changes.

Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: Customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; they can visit any PennDOT driver license center that is open for driver license services, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of 13 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over the counter at the time of service.

For a full list of driver license centers and their services, please visit the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website, www.dmv.pa.gov

When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus the applicable renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver’s license, and $31.50 for a photo ID). The expiration date of their initial REAL ID product will include any time remaining on their existing non-REAL ID product, plus an additional four years, unless the customer is over 65 and has a two-year license. This expiration date structure means that the customer won’t “lose” time that they’ve already paid for. After the initial REAL ID product expires, the customer will pay no additional fee, beyond regular renewal fees, to renew a REAL ID product.

REAL ID-compliant products are marked with a gold star in the upper right corner, standard-issue (non-compliant) products include the phrase “NOT FOR REAL ID PURPOSES,” per federal regulations. Sample images can be viewed on PennDOT’s website.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at www.penndot.gov/REALID

Travel Advisory

Grays Ferry Avenue Lane Closure March 22-24 for Fence Installation in Philadelphia

March 20, 2021 – Westbound Grays Ferry Avenue will be reduced to one lane between University Avenue and 47th Street in Philadelphia on Monday, March 22, through Wednesday, March 24, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, for fence installation under a project to rehabilitate the bridge carrying Grays Ferry Avenue over the Schuylkill River, Amtrak/SEPTA and CSX railway tracks, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because backups and delays will occur. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

Work on this project will be in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and state Department of Health guidance as well as a project-specific COVID-19 safety plan, which will include protocols for social distancing, use of face coverings, personal and job-site cleaning protocols, management of entries to the jobsite, special signage and relevant training.

Buckley & Company Inc., of Philadelphia, is the general contractor on the $13.9 million project which is financed with 100 percent state funds. The entire project is expected to be completed this spring. 

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, and Learner’s Permits

Commercial product extensions set to expire March 31, 2021

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for commercial driver licenses and commercial learner’s permits will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

This will be the final extension for the following products’ expiration dates:

  • The expiration date for a commercial learner’s permit scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2021, is extended through March 31, 2021.
  • The expiration date for commercial driver licenses scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020, through March 31, 2021, is extended through March 31, 2021.

Customers with commercial products that are covered by the extension but have not yet been renewed are encouraged to renew their CDL products as soon as possible by March 31, 2021.  No further extensions will be given on these products.

Expiration extension deadlines on non-commercial driver license, photo identification cards, learner’s permits and camera cards ended on August 31, 2020.

For a list of open driver license and photo license centers and the services provided, as well as their hours of operation, please visit www.dmv.pa.gov.  

Customers may continue to complete various transactions and access multiple resources online at www.dmv.pa.gov. Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and schedule a driver’s exam. There are no additional fees for using online services.

PennDOT will continue to evaluate these processes and will communicate any changes with the public.

Additional COVID-19 information is available at www.health.pa.gov. For more information, visit www.dmv.pa.gov or www.PennDOT.gov.

Construction Update: Winter 2020-21

Construction Update: Winter 2020-21

Bridge’s Top Side Rehab Substantially Completed

Winter 2020-21 — With structural and deck repairs on the top side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River now substantially completed and the bridge opened to four lanes of traffic, final paving of the bridge’s approaches, line painting, completion of the bridge’s new drainage system, and repairs to the underside supports will be completed this spring to wrap up work on PennDOT’s $13.3 million bridge rehabilitation project in Southwest Philadelphia.

Crews will complete improvements to the bridge’s stormwater drainage system and finish repairs to the underside support piers and abutments into spring before finishing the project with final paving at the bridge’s approaches.

Over two-plus years of construction beginning in late 2018 through 2020, PennDOT’s contractor has replaced the bridge’s expansion dams; refurbished the bridge’s steel structural components; repaired and resurfaced the bridge’s deck; and upgraded traffic signals on Grays Ferry Avenue approaching the bridge.

In addition to bridge deck and structural repairs, PennDOT has installed a barrier-protected pedestrian/bicycling lane on the eastbound side; a barrier-protected sidewalk on the westbound side; and a modular curb system with flexible delineators separating (see above) westbound traffic from the painted westbound bicycle lane.

The eastbound pedestrian/bicycle lane is tied in to the existing trailhead path on the south side of the bridge that leads to the Grays Ferry Crescent section of the Schuylkill River Trail that courses along the river beneath the bridge. 

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Fall 2020 Construction Update

Eastbound Paving to Finish this Fall

Fall 2020 – With the structural repairs completed on the eastbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River,  the contractor will finish placing the Latex Modified Concrete (LMC) riding surface and finish construction of the protected sidewalk/bicycle lane on the bridge’s eastbound side this fall.

Due to delays caused by COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the addition of a curb-protected westbound bicycle lane, the completion date of the project has been pushed back from this fall to spring 2021. Next spring, the contractor will mill and pave the bridge’s approaches, install new traffic signals on Grays Ferry Avenue at the bridge, and complete installation of protected bicycle lanes on the westbound side.

Eastbound paving will be completed this fall.

PennDOT anticipates that a modular curb system with flexible delineator posts will be installed by the end of April 2021 on the westbound side of the bridge. This safety enhancement, which will complement the protected pedestrian/bicycling lane on the eastbound side of the bridge, will make the boundary between the westbound bike lane and the adjacent vehicular traffic lane more visible to both drivers and bicyclists. 

An example of a modular curb system with flexible delineators.

Over the past two construction seasons, PennDOT’s contractor has replaced the bridge’s expansion dams, which allow normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck’s concrete slabs due to seasonal changes in temperature, repaired the bridge’s drainage system, and refurbished the bridge’s steel structural components.

Rehabilitation of the westbound side of the bridge finished in 2019.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, crews also have repaired the concrete abutments and support columns underneath the bridge.

Temporary supports in place on the underside of the bridge during repairs to its structural components.

Completion of “punch list” construction items will wrap-up the $13.3 million rehabilitation in late 2021.

Notice

PennDOT Installing Westbound Protected Bike Lane in Spring 2021

October 2020 – PennDOT anticipates that a modular curb system with flexible delineator posts will be installed in Spring 2021 on the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River. This project safety enhancement will make the boundary between the westbound bike lane and the adjacent vehicular traffic lane more visible to both drivers and bicyclists.

The below photo is an example of the modular curb system with flexible delineator posts that will be installed on the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River.

Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement Underway

Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) today announced that enforcement of the statewide Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program begins next week. Today marks the end of a 60-day pre-enforcement period that was required by Act 86 of 2018, which established the AWZSE program.

“Through the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, we are urging motorists to slow down and pay attention while driving, especially through work zones where roadway conditions can change on a daily basis,” said acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “In 2018, 23 motorists were killed in a Pennsylvania work zone. Ultimately, this program is not about issuing violations, it’s about saving lives.”

Pennsylvania’s AWZSE program uses vehicle-mounted systems to detect and record motorists exceeding posted work zone speed limits by 11 miles per hour or more using electronic speed timing devices. AWZSE systems are only operational in active work zones where workers are present. Beginning today, registered owners will receive a warning letter for a first offense, a violation notice and $75 fine for a second offense, and a violation notice and $150 fine for third and subsequent offenses. These violations are civil penalties only; no points will be assessed to driver’s licenses.

Work zones are selected to maximize the effectiveness of the systems and will be marked with signage in advance of the enforcement area. Additionally, locations are posted on the project website, WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

“While there can be fines assessed, the AWZSE program’s goal is not to generate revenue,” explained PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “The goal is to build awareness and most importantly, to change unsafe driving behaviors. The program serves as a roadway reminder that safety is literally in each driver’s hands when they are behind the wheel.”

In 2018, there were 1,804 work zone crashes in Pennsylvania, resulting in 23 fatalities, and 43 percent of work zone crashes resulted in fatalities and/or injuries. Since 1970, PennDOT has lost 89 workers in the line of duty. The PA Turnpike has lost 45 workers since 1945.

For more information on the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program, including a list of projects where the units are deployed, visit WorkZoneCameras.PennDOT.gov.

Winter 2019/2020 Construction Update

Winter 2019/2020 Construction Update

Construction Continues on Eastbound Side

Winter 2019/2020 — With repairs completed to the westbound side of the Grays Ferry Avenue Bridge over the Schuylkill River in Southwest Philadelphia, two lanes of traffic have been shifted onto the rehabilitated westbound lanes as the contractor continues to repair the eastbound side of the span.

During the current construction stage, crews are replacing the existing expansion dams, which allow normal expansion and contraction of the bridge deck’s individual concrete slabs due to seasonal changes in temperature.

The eastbound deck’s pavement overlay has been removed to allow workers to repair deteriorated areas of the existing deck.

The bridge’s drainage system also is being replaced.

The contractor also has begun repairs to the deck’s steel structural components and replacement of deteriorated “beam seats”, where the structural members rest atop the concrete support piers.

In addition to bridge deck and superstructure repairs, crews also continue repairs to the concrete abutments and support columns underneath the bridge.

As part of the improvements to the bridge, PennDOT will install a 10’-wide, barrier protected pedestrian/bicycling lane to the eastbound side of the bridge once the structural repairs are completed and the final pavement overlay is applied. The protected lane will connect directly with access to the Schuylkill River Trail that runs under the bridge.

The project is expected to be completed in late 2020.

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction on I-76 Viaducts

March 25, 2019

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction on I-76 Viaducts

King of Prussia, PA – The Wolf Administration announced today that construction will begin Thursday, April 4, on a project to rehabilitate two Interstate 76 (Schuylkill Expressway) viaducts, including the 6,120-foot-long structure between the Interstate 676 and University Avenue exits in Center City Philadelphia and a 345-foot-long structure over Route 23 and Arrowmink Creek in West Conshohocken, Montgomery County.

“Pennsylvania’s ongoing bridge inspection program has been closely monitoring these heavily-used, 60-plus-year-old structures to ensure that they continue to function as designed,” Governor Tom Wolf said. “Their analysis of the hundreds of structural components that comprise each viaduct points to the need to address the inevitable deterioration now so as to safely handle the demands of tens of thousands of motorists who use the Schuylkill Expressway each day.”

The two-year project will require numerous overnight single lane closures and full closures in one direction at a time, as well as a limited number of weekend daytime single-lane closures or full overnight closures on either the eastbound or westbound expressway in Center City.

For the first two weeks of construction, the contractor will be working on Thursday through Sunday nights on both the eastbound side and westbound side of I-76 in Philadelphia to clear work zone drainage inlets, complete surveying activities, and perform other preliminary work items prior to the start of repairs on the eastbound side of the viaduct that will continue through the end of 2019.

The contractor’s short-term work schedule is:

  • Thursday, April 4, through Sunday, April 7, from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, eastbound I-76 will be reduced to a single lane between the I-676 and University Avenue interchanges; and
  • Thursday, April 11, through Sunday, April 14, from 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM the following morning, alternating eastbound or westbound single lane closures will reduce I-76 to one lane between the I-676 and University Avenue interchanges.

No on- or off-ramps within the work zone are scheduled to be closed during these preliminary construction activities.

Under this project, PennDOT will rehabilitate the 289-span Center City Philadelphia viaduct and the three-span Montgomery County bridge over the 2019 and 2020 construction seasons by repairing or replacing the concrete decks’ expansion joints; repairing deteriorated sections of their concrete decks; rehabilitating numerous piers, columns and other sub-structure components; repairing the viaducts’ drainage systems; and repaving the decks with a concrete overlay.

Repairs to the eastbound side of the Center City viaduct are scheduled to be completed in 2019. Repairs to the westbound side of the Center City viaduct will finish in 2020.

Repairs to the structure in West Conshohocken are expected to begin in May or June 2019 and will be completed by November 2019.  These repairs will be done using single lane overnight closures seven days a week between 9:00 PM and 5:00 AM.

During repairs to the Center City structure, one side of the expressway at a time will be reduced to a single lane or closed completely overnight. In addition, one side of the expressway at a time will be reduced to a single lane during weekend daytime hours a minimum of ten times eastbound (in 2019) and ten times westbound (2020) on non-holiday and select weekends.

Allowable times for these restrictions are as follows:

Weekday Nighttime Single Lane Closures Eastbound or Westbound


  • Monday nights through Friday mornings: 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekday Nighttime Full Closures Eastbound or Westbound


  • Monday nights through Friday mornings: 11:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekend Nighttime Single Lane Closures Eastbound or Westbound

  • Friday nights through Sunday mornings: 9:00 PM to 10:00 AM
  • Sunday nights through Monday mornings: 9:00 PM to 5:00 AM

Weekend Daytime Single Lane Closures Eastbound*


  • Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM to Saturday nights at 10:00 PM
  • Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM to Sunday nights at 9:00 PM

Weekend Nighttime Full Closures Eastbound**

  • Friday nights at 11:00 PM through Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Saturday nights at 10:00 PM through Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • 
Sunday nights at 9:00 PM through Monday mornings at 5:00 AM

Weekend Daytime Single Lane Closures Westbound*


  • Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM to Saturday nights at 10:00 PM
  • 
Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM to Sunday nights at 11:00 PM

Weekend Nighttime Full Closures Westbound**


  • Friday nights at 11:00 PM through Saturday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Saturday nights at 10:00 PM through Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM
  • Sunday nights at 11:00 PM through Monday mornings at 5:00 AM

* Maximum allowable weekend daytime single lane closures is ten times eastbound and ten times westbound.
** Anticipated weekend overnight full closures is ten times eastbound and ten times westbound.

Overnight right lane and shoulder closures also may occur on the westbound side throughout 2019 and 2020 for construction activities to repair support columns on the underside of the viaduct.

In addition, on and off ramps within the Center City work zone will be closed and detoured in coordination with the scheduled lane restrictions and full closures. Ramps that will be impacted include:

  • University Avenue/Exit 346B Westbound On Ramp
  • University Avenue/Exit 346B Eastbound Off Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346 Eastbound On Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Westbound On Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Westbound Off Ramp
  • South Street/Exit 346A Eastbound Off Ramp
  • Walnut Street/Exit 345 Eastbound On Ramp
  • I-676/Vine Street Expressway/Exit 344 Westbound Off Ramp

Information about the project, including each week’s planned lane restrictions and/or closings, is available at the project website: www.i76viaduct.com.

J.D. Eckman of Atglen, Chester County, is the general contractor on the 100 percent federally-funded project.

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction to Rehabilitate U.S. 1 Roosevelt Expressway Viaduct

February 8, 2019

Wolf Administration Announces Start of Construction to Rehabilitate the U.S. 1 Roosevelt Expressway Viaduct

King of Prussia, PA – The Wolf Administration announced today that construction will begin Wednesday, February 13, on a project to rehabilitate the half-mile-long Wayne Junction Viaduct that carries U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway) over SEPTA tracks and the Nicetown section of Philadelphia.

“This rehabilitation project will result in a structurally sound viaduct that will safely and efficiently handle the demands of the more than 125,000 motorists who use the expressway each day to connect between Northeast Philadelphia and the Schuylkill Expressway with its connections to Center City and the western suburbs,” Governor Tom Wolf said.

Under this project, PennDOT will rehabilitate the 15-span, 2,600-foot long steel multi-girder structure by placing a new concrete deck; repairing structural steel and deteriorated concrete in the substructures; cleaning and painting; and replacing bearings, downspouts and scuppers.

The project also includes installing new directional signing along U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway); upgrading Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) components; and rehabilitating the bridge carrying Fox Street over U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway).

Beginning Wednesday, February 13, crews will begin repairs to the concrete piers that support the northern section of the viaduct between Germantown Avenue and 18th Street. Following inspection of the piers to identify areas needing repair, crews will use lightweight pneumatic tools to remove areas of deteriorated concrete. The deteriorated sections of the piers will be repaired with concrete this spring.

Crews will work from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, Mondays through Fridays, depending on weather conditions. When completed on the northern end of the viaduct, the operation will move to south of Germantown Avenue, where work will be coordinated with SEPTA, CSX Railroad and Comcast facilities under the viaduct and continue until spring.

The scheduled activities will not impact vehicular or pedestrian travel on the viaduct or any of the surface streets beneath the viaduct.

Work is also scheduled to begin this spring to improve the intersection of Fox Street and West Abbotsford Avenue, which will be used as a detour route for the Cayuga Street on-ramp to southbound U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway). That ramp will be closed when staged construction on the top side of the viaduct gets underway later this year.

The ramp will remain closed until fall 2022 to safely maintain two lanes of southbound U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway) during staged construction. PennDOT will maintain two lanes of traffic in both directions on the U.S. 1 (Roosevelt Expressway) during peak travel times during all stages of viaduct repairs.

South State, Inc. of Bridgeton, N.J. is the general contractor on the $88,456,609 project which is financed with 80 percent federal and 20 percent state funds. The entire project is expected to be completed in late 2022.

The project design and anticipated construction activities were coordinated with the Nicetown Community Development Corporation. Project elements including lighting and paving were added as a result of this outreach and paint color for the rehabilitated viaduct was selected by the community.

For more information on the Wayne Junction Viaduct Improvement Project, visit www.us1wav.com.