News

Lawmakers send Real ID bill to Wolf, who plans to sign it

Written by The Associated Press | May 24, 2017 1:36 PM

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(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania lawmakers on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly for a bill designed to comply with federal identification standards for people who want to fly or enter federal facilities.

The House passed the Real ID bill 190-1, and Democratic Governor Tom Wolf said he will sign it.

The measure gives residents the option to obtain a driver's license or other ID that meets the rules of a 2005 federal law enacted in response to the September 11 terror attacks. Residents would also be allowed to get a noncompliant, traditional driver's license or ID.

Representative Frank Ryan, R-Lebanon, called the legislation "a reasonable option for us to get around an unnecessary federal regulation."

The bill overturns a 2012 state law that had prevented the state from complying based on concerns about cost, constitutionality and government intrusiveness.

The new legislation aims to "protect the public, not look over our shoulders, not put us in a big database that's been talked about," said Representative Ed Neilson, D-Philadelphia.

The legislator who cast the lone "no" vote in the House, Republican Representative Jim Marshall of Beaver County, said providing two types of ID and driver's licenses will be confusing, and he feels the program is a federal overreach.

"To get a Pennsylvania driver's license, you have to prove residency first, which I completely support and agree, and I just think that that alone should be acceptable to the federal government," Marshall said.

There's a June 6 deadline to become compliant for entry into federal facilities. The commercial airliner standards take effect next year.

Wolf released a statement indicating the Transportation Department will begin working with the federal government to complete the changes. He said the goal was to make them consumer friendly and affordable.

An earlier story appears below.

(HARRISBURG) -- Pennsylvania lawmakers are approving a bill designed to comply with federal identification standards for people who want to fly or enter federal facilities.

The House passed the Real ID bill Wednesday by a 190 to 1 vote.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he'll sign it.

The measure gives residents the option to obtain a driver's license or other ID that meet rules of a 2005 federal law enacted in response to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

There's also an option for a noncompliant, traditional driver's license or ID.

The bill overturns a 2012 state law that's kept the state from complying based on concerns about cost, constitutionality and government intrusiveness.

There's a June 6 deadline to become compliant for entry into federal facilities.

The airliner standards take effect next year.

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