Editorial: Pennsylvania to blame for low Real ID applications | TribLIVE.com
Editorials

Editorial: Pennsylvania to blame for low Real ID applications

1378065_web1_WEB-real-ID

Pennsylvania is concerned that people aren’t jumping on the Real ID bandwagon.

Hmm. It’s hard to figure out how 12.8 million people could have gotten the idea that it doesn’t matter.

Pennsylvania has balked and delayed to implement Real ID at every turn for years. Yes, the state has finally booked a seat on that bandwagon, but maybe it’s just too late.

The Real ID is the upcharged version of a driver’s license or state-issued identification card that includes more security verification. Congress passed the requirements for it after the 9/11 terror attacks.

No one is required to get the Real ID, but come October 2020, it will be harder to do some things in Pennsylvania without one.

Like get on an airplane, or walk into the federal courthouse in Pittsburgh.

But it won’t be impossible. What the Department of Transportation may have forgotten is that they aren’t the only identification game in town.

While Pennsylvania has been holding its breath and turning blue, refusing to implement Real ID, residents have still been planning trips and going places. And with more borders becoming more secure, that means more people have been getting the one form of identification that trumps all others.

The passport.

The number of Pennsylvanians applying for passports has been rising in recent years. Since 2012, Keystone State applications have gone up 60%. In that six-year period, the U.S. State Department has handed out 3.76 million passports, which are good for 10 years rather than four, like a driver’s license.

Is that really a lot? It’s almost a third of the state’s population and just under half of the 8.8 million licensed drivers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics, and it doesn’t count people who have still-valid passports issued in 2009-11.

So it looks like many Pennsylvanians saw the value in a well-vetted identification card years before the state did, and just couldn’t wait for Pennsylvania to jump on the bandwagon.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.