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Senator Wayne D. Fontana

REAL ID Update

real idThe Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) recently provided an update on Pennsylvania's progress toward compliance with the federal REAL ID Act, and how customers can apply for REAL ID pre-verification in PennDOT driver license centers in the coming weeks.

Because PennDOT may already have electronic documents on file for approximately 35 percent of its total customers, individuals who received their first PA driver's license or ID card after September 2003, these customers have had the option to apply for REAL ID pre-verification online since March.

Most of PennDOT's customers, however, received their initial product prior to September 2003, so PennDOT does not have their required REAL ID documents on file. Customers in this group who want a REAL ID will need to bring the required documents to a Driver's License Center so they can be verified in person.

These customers may now bring the required documents to any PennDOT driver license center. Federal regulations require that to be issued a REAL ID-compliant product, PennDOT must verify the following documents:

  • Proof of Identity (Original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport)

  • Proof of Social Security Number (Unlaminated social security card)

  • Proof of all Legal Name Changes (Marriage certificate or court order issued by your county's family court)

  • Two Proofs of Current, Physical PA Address (Current, unexpired PA license or ID and a no more than 90-day-old bank statement or utility bill with the same name and address)

PennDOT staff will image the documents to the customer's record, and when REAL IDs are available in March 2019, the customer can opt into the REAL ID program online, and their REAL ID product will be sent through the mail, eliminating any need for this customer to visit a Driver License Center.

To obtain a REAL ID, customers will pay a one-time fee of $30, plus a renewal fee (current renewal fee is $30.50 for a four-year non-commercial driver's license or 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.

When REAL IDs are available, customers will have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: pre-verified customers may order their REAL ID online; they can visit a PennDOT Driver's License Center, have their documents verified and imaged, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 7-10 days; or they can visit one of up to 13 REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.

PennDOT is in the process of retrofitting six of its existing driver's license centers to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID (Williamsport, Wilkes-Barre, Rockview in Centre County, Erie, Altoona and South 70th Street in Philadelphia) and adding five new locations in the following regions: Pittsburgh, King of Prussia, Allentown, Harrisburg, and Lancaster.

REAL ID is optional for Pennsylvania residents. A federally-accepted form of identification (whether it's the forthcoming Pennsylvania REAL ID driver's license or ID card, a U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after October 1, 2020.There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID and PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver's licenses and photo IDs.

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

Did You Know…

Did you know that since the REAL ID Act was passed by the United States Congress in 2005, half of all the states have met the REAL ID minimum standards so far?

Open House on Addiction

Open House on Addiction The opioid addiction crisis has swept every corner of Pennsylvania. People struggling with addiction, their families, friends and whole community are invited to attend an Open House on the resources available to beat back addiction and ease the road to recovery.

I am hosting the Open House on Addiction on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at the Teamsters Temple, located at 4701 Butler Street in Lawrenceville, from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Services that will be discussed include:

  • Information about addiction treatment centers
  • Counseling services: family counseling and support groups
  • Low-cost legal services
  • Pathways to Pardons

This event is free and open to the public.

Flu Shot Clinic/Drug Take Back

Flu Shot I will be hosting my annual Flu/Pneumonia Shot & Senior Clinic on Thursday, September 20 from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. in Quinn Hall at the Church of the Resurrection in Brookline.  American HealthCare Group will be providing free vaccinations to any senior with the Medicare Part B health insurance card.  Make sure to bring your card with you.  Light refreshments will be served.

Additionally, this year, Deputy Sheriff Joe Cirigliano will be on hand to collect any unused, unwanted, or expired medications as part of Allegheny County Sheriff Bill Mullen’s Project D.U.M.P. initiative.  This program allows residents to bring any unused, unwanted or expired medications so they can be properly disposed.  I’m thrilled to have the Sheriff’s Office participating and am grateful for their efforts in combatting the heroin and opioid epidemic and preventing addiction and overdose.

Attendees can also visit with Duquesne University’s Mylan School of Pharmacy at their “Ask the Pharmacist” table and have questions answered on medications and receive blood pressure screenings. The following terrific organizations are scheduled to participate at this year’s event: Allegheny County Area Agency on Aging; AARP; PA Attorney General’s Office; Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office; ACCESS; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh; Office of the Consumer Advocate; Duquesne Light; OASIS; PA APPRISE; and the Public Utility Commission.

Upcoming Job Fair

On Thursday, Sept. 27, with Rep. Dan Deasy and Rep. Anita Kulik, and in partnership with Building Bridges for Business and U.S. Probation & Pre Trial Services, we will be hosting a Job Fair for any interested job seekers.  The Job Fair is being held at the VFW VESLE Post 418, located at 1242 Chartiers Avenue in McKees Rocks.

The Job Fair will feature local companies looking to fill positions now.  There will also be representatives in attendance to talk about apprenticeships and other technical training programs to help individuals gain information on acquiring new skills to become gainfully employed.

Many job seekers face barriers to employment like issues related to a past criminal record, a suspended driver’s license, lack of high school diploma or necessary job skills. Therefore, the Job Fair will include three breakout sessions that address these barriers.  From 4:30-5 p.m., attendees can join a breakout session to learn more about the driver’s license restoration process.  From 5:30-6 p.m., a session on pardons and record expungement will take place.  Anyone wishing to learn more about improving job skills and short-term training programs can attend the session from 6:30-7 p.m.

If you are looking for work or have difficulty because of any of the barriers listed above, please consider attending this Job Fair.  If you have family or friends who may be interested, please share this information with them.

Civics 101

pcn civicsThe Pennsylvania Cable Network (PCN) is excited to bring Pennsylvania classrooms Civics 101, a free educational resource geared towards the fourth-grade student. The tools and videos included in Civics 101 were organized for the 2018-19 school year.

Civics 101 brings the basics of lawmaking to life for Pennsylvania students. The site features video interviews with former Governors, a roundtable of Capitol reporters explaining the importance of the media, and special PCN Tours of the Governor’s residence and the State Capitol. In addition, a “Teacher’s Guide & Tools” page offers ideas for use in the classroom and downloadable classroom tools.

Francine Schertzer, Vice President of Programming at PCN, came up with the idea of Civics 101 while speaking to her daughter’s fourth grade social studies class. Schertzer was invited in to help explain the legislative process in a way kids would understand. Having no prior experience as an educator, Francine wanted to keep the lesson simple and interesting, so she had the class step into the roles of the House, Senate, Lobbyist, and Governor to decide whether hedgehogs should be legalized as pets in PA. Thus, Civics 101 was born.

Being knowledgeable and comfortable in exercising civic duty is important for every citizen. The goal of Civics 101 is to be a valuable resource in the classroom resulting in educated and interested students. PCN welcomes teachers to share how they’re using Civics 101.  In return, PCN will send a certificate of recognition and a special gift to participating schools, while supplies last. For more information on the program, please visit

Open Streets Carnegie

open streetsCarnegie Borough is hosting Open Streets Carnegie on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. on West Main & East Main Streets. West and East Main Streets will be closed from Jefferson Street to Washington Avenue, so people can enjoy activities such as yoga, tai chi, dance, physical therapy, massage, skateboarding, bicycling, hockey, mini-golf, and numerous other outdoor pursuits (including a scavenger hunt). Participants can bring bikes, scooters, skates and even dogs.  The Carnegie Police will have a bicycle safety course and the Carnegie Volunteer Fire Department will have an obstacle course. The closed streets will permit individuals to enjoy outdoor activities in a fun, safe environment. There will be giveaways, a bike raffle and prizes for the scavenger hunt. This is a free event.

pa voter registrationFontana Fact

Pennsylvania’s Online Voter Registration website launched just over three years ago, on August 27, 2015. Since then, more than 1 million Pennsylvanians have used the secure service to register to vote or update their information. If you need to register to vote or update your information, please visit

Offices of State Senator Wayne D. Fontana

Brookline District
932 Brookline Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15226
Phone: 412-344-2551
Weekdays – 9 am – 5 pm
543 Main Capitol | Box 203042
Harrisburg, PA 17120
Phone: 717-787-5300
Fax: 717-772-5484
Weekdays – 8:30 am – 5 pm
Kennedy Township
Kenmawr Plaza
524 Pine Hollow Road
Kennedy Twp, PA 15136
Phone: 412-331-1208
Weekdays – 10 am – 4 pm
Beechview Satellite
1660 Broadway Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15216
By Appointment
PCN - Civics 101 PA online Voter Open Streets Carnegie