The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress in 2005, requires Pennsylvania residents to use federally approved forms of identification, such as a passport book or passport card, for domestic air travel, access to federal buildings and admission to nuclear power plants by January 22, 2018. For more information, see https://www.dhs.gov/real-id-enforcement-brief.
As of December 2016, Pennsylvania was one of eight states whose driver’s license or identification card did not meet the requirements of the REAL ID Act. State residents must present federally accepted form of identification, such as a U.S. passport, in order to board a commercial domestic flight in 2018.
U.S. citizens re-entering the United States must present a passport book, passport card or other travel documents approved by the U.S. government, which are listed at travel.state.gov. Passport cards are only accepted for land travel between the U.S. and Canada, and Mexico and sea ports-of-entry from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. Passport books are required for all air travel.
If you need to get a passport or passport card, the James V. Brown Library, 19 E. Fourth St., can help. The library is an official Passport Acceptance Facility and is open after work and on weekends. Library staff can take your passport photo, making the library a one-stop shop for all your passport needs.
All passport applicants must apply in person, regardless of age. Both parents must be present and show identification when applying for a minor under 16. If one parent is unavailable, a notarized Statement of Consent from the absentee parent with photocopies of identification are required.
To apply for a passport, you will need the following:
- One passport photo that meets U.S. passport guidelines. The Brown Library will take one for you for a $10 charge.
- Passport application form DS-11, which is available at the library or the Passport Agency website at http://travel.state.gov/.
- Proof of citizenship, such as a certified birth certificate with parents names listed, or a current or expired U.S. passport.
- Proof of identity such as a valid U.S. driver’s license or state-issued identification card, a military I.D. card or government-issued photo I.D.
Passport fees, based on age, must be made in the form of a check or money order payable to the U.S. Department of State, along with a separate payment for processing of $25 paid to the James V. Brown Library either by cash, check or credit card.
State Department officials encourage renewing early. Many countries enforce entry requirements of at least six months’ validity on a United States passport. Renewals are expected to take about six weeks in 2017, up from four to six weeks last year. Applicants, who meet all requirements, with valid or recently expired passports can renew by mail using form DS82.
For your convenience, passport applications are accepted from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. No appointments necessary.
The library also will take photos for those who need photo identification for testing purposes. The same $10 charge applies.
For more information about passport requirements, visit http://jvbrown.edu/passport/ .
The Brown Library is part of a national effort to increase awareness of the changing role of libraries and the ways in which libraries are transforming to meet the information needs of their users.