Imagine that you own or manage a business.
Now imagine that there is a federal law that is passed that you must comply with, or else your customers will not be able to fully use your product.
Now imagine that you implement a new rule in your business that says you are NOT going to comply with the law AND you are going to knowingly sell an inferior product that does not allow your customers to use your product in the same way they used to use it.
Oh, and your customer will now need to spend an additional $55 - $135 with another vendor to make your $30.50 product useful again.
How long do you think it would take to lose your customers?
Not long, right?
This is Actually Happening
But, the good news in this situation is that it’s not a business doing it, it’s the government so they won’t actually lose any customers.
The bad news is that the government in question is the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and that, unless the government fixes this, any Pennsylvania resident who wants to board an airplane in 2018 has to purchase either a US Passport Card ($55) or a US Passport ($135) to do so, unless Pennsylvania fixes the law this year.
The mess started in 2012 when Pennsylvania passed Act 38, a state law that prevented PennDOT from complying with federal law. Because of Act 38, PennDOT was not legally allowed to upgrade the PA driver’s license to include the new security standards required by the federal Real ID Act of 2005.
The Real ID Act was passed in 2005. It’s now 2017. States have had 12 years to comply. And all except 8, including Pennsylvania, have complied. It’s time for our lawmakers in Harrisburg to fix this.
So, What Can You Do?
- If you are planning to travel via airplane in 2018 and you do NOT have a passport or passport card, it’s not a bad idea to get one this year, just in case the state continues to stall.
- If you are planning to travel via airplane in 2018 and you do HAVE a passport but DO NOT HAVE a passport card, you may want to consider getting the card ($55). That’s what we’ll be doing because carrying a passport card in our wallet is easier than carrying around our passport on every trip.
- If you need to visit any federal building in 2017, and you do NOT have a passport or passport card, you will need to get one ASAP because as of the end of this month, a PA license will not be accepted.
- Call your state senators and representatives and urge them to introduce legislation that repeals Act 38 and allows PennDOT to comply with federal law. This should be a top priority in Harrisburg this year, and only our voices demanding it will make this happen. Click here to find your PA representatives and call, email, and/or write letters on a regular basis until they act!