This is the Year for REAL ID; AAA’s guide on how to prepare for the changes PA travelers will face in October

As the deadline for REAL ID compliant identification to fly approaches, AAA East Central advises travelers to act fast if they are choosing to apply for identification that complies with the federal program. Beginning on October 1st, all U.S. residents will need a compliant license/ID or an acceptable form of ID to board a domestic flight, access a Federal facility, enter a military base or a nuclear power plant. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) considers a current passport or military ID acceptable identification for boarding an aircraft.


“While the deadline is ten months away, the time will fly by before we know it,” says Theresa Podguski, director of legislative affairs for AAA East Central.  “Anyone who is interested in applying for the compliant identification should get their documents in order now to avoid waiting in long lines later this year with other last-minute applicants.” 


Ohioans have a choice as to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or identification card, or a standard driver’s license or identification card. For anyone who decides to upgrade to a REAL ID, there is no additional cost. These IDs can be obtained at Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) Deputy Registrar locations, and will be mailed to the holder’s home when completed. The only costs associated will be the normal renewal or first-time license fees that motorists already pay. 


How to obtain a REAL ID:

  • Apply at any BMV Deputy Registrar location.
  • Bring the necessary documents from the approved document list to satisfy Ohio and federal requirements. These documents will need to prove:
    • Full legal name.
    • Date of birth.
    • Social Security Number.
    • 2 proofs of Ohio residency.
    • Proof of legal presence.
    • Proof of any name changes.


According to the BMV, ID cards will be mailed in about 10 business days after they are ordered.


While AAA East Central branch offices are not REAL ID distributors, AAA Travel Agents are on hand to discuss any questions members or the general public may have about the upcoming changes. Additionally, travelers can consult the BMV’s website with any questions.


AAA East Central is a not-for-profit association with 78 local offices in Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia serving 2.7 million members.  Past news releases are available at  Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.