Harrisburg, Pa. – September 19, 2019 – Senator Maria Collett (D-Montgomery/Bucks) introduced legislation (SB 855) today to reduce fees for seniors applying for REAL ID cards and driver’s licenses.
Pennsylvania is home to a substantial and expanding senior population. Our seniors have worked full careers, raised their families, and supported their communities. Yet due to rising costs of living, many retired Pennsylvanians are now working part-time jobs and struggling to pay for necessities like food and medications.
Secure identification cards like REAL ID are necessary for modern air travel and admission to federal military buildings, but the process can be burdensome and frustrating, especially for older Pennsylvanians.
“Concerns about REAL ID are some of the most common constituent requests my office receives,” said Senator Collett. “The additional processing fee can present a real barrier for seniors on fixed incomes. As the Democratic Chair of the Senate Aging and Youth Committee, I will continue to be an advocate for protecting the incomes of our dedicated senior citizens who have long contributed to our economic security and social wellbeing.”
This legislation will create a senior discount on REAL ID fees of at least 50 percent of the REAL ID Fee established by the Department of Transportation, but the Department will be permitted to increase this discount above the 50 percent minimum.
Recognizing that cost is just one prohibitive factor in the REAL ID process, Senator Collett has also contacted Pennsylvania Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards to share additional feedback from our constituents and offer suggested improvements. Suggested improvements include:
- Eliminating the exact middle name match requirement;
- Making it easier for individuals to obtain name change and other required documents;
- Decreasing DMV wait times through extended and weekend hours;
- Updating all PennDOT facilities to include credit/debit card processing equipment; and
- Making the PennDOT website interface more informative and user-friendly.