Existing photos to be used for new Pennsylvania driver's licenses

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The sign for the closed PennDot Driver License Center marks their location at a strip mall in Butler, Pa., Friday, April 3, 2020.
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic-AP

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania -- Drivers in Pennsylvania will be allowed to use their existing photos when renewing their driver's licenses, PennDOT announced Tuesday.

After renewing online or through the mail, PennDOT says the new driver's license or photo ID card will be mailed to customers within 15 days.

No camera card will be sent and there will be no need for customers to go to a PennDOT Photo License Center.

"Using a customer's existing photo will help limit the number of people in our driver and photo license centers, and by extension, help reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19," said Acting PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. "This new process is not only a convenience, but it will help to keep our customers and staff safe."

PennDOT says non-commercial driver's license and photo ID card holders may renew their product online, providing there are no corrections or changes other than a change of address, by visiting www.dmv.pa.gov. Both non-commercial and commercial drivers may renew their products through the mail.

READ: REAL ID deadline pushed back to 2021 due to coronavirus outbreak

However, not everyone qualifies for this new process. Those who renewed their license or ID on or before May 10, 2020 will receive a camera card in the mail and will still need to visit a PennDOT Photo License Center to obtain an updated photo.

Additionally, non-U.S. citizens must also visit a driver's license center in person to complete a transaction. For a list of reopened locations, visit www.dmv.pa.gov.

Expiration dates on driver's licenses, photo ID cards, learner's permits and camera cards scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through May 31, 2020, have been extended until June 30, 2020.

A Pennsylvania driver's license is valid for four years, expiring on the day after the driver's birthday.

The issuance of REAL ID has been suspended as a mitigation effort in preventing the spread of COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has extended the REAL ID enforcement deadline until October 1, 2021.

PennDOT says once REAL ID issuance has resumed, customers with a non-REAL ID product can upgrade to a REAL ID and their new product will include any time remaining on their current product, plus an additional four years - customers won't "lose" time that they've already paid for, and after the initial REAL ID product expires, there is no additional fee (beyond regular renewal fees) to renew a REAL ID product.

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


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