|House Committees Vow to Help Aging Veterans
At a joint hearing of the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee, members learned more about initiatives to raise awareness of programs and assistance for Pennsylvania’s aging veteran population.
Testifiers included officials with the Pennsylvania Southeastern Veterans’ Center; Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; Pennsylvania Department of Aging; Pennsylvania American Legion; Veterans of Foreign Wars at Pennsylvania State Headquarters; and Veterans Home Care NYJ, LLC. They focused their testimony on the need to invest state dollars wisely into programs that will benefit Pennsylvania’s veterans.
The Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs reported that every $1 that the Commonwealth invests in our veterans results in $35 for Pennsylvania in federal funding and saved Medicare costs. In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging is engaged in a pilot program that provides a budget for veterans to spend how they wish on their care.
Another program outlined is contained in Act 66 of 2007, which directs grant money to assist veterans service organizations with veterans outreach programs. Please contact my Honesdale district office at 570-253-5533 or my Montrose district office at 570-278-3374 for more information about this monthly program. Additionally, the need for partnerships to disseminate important information to veterans was also emphasized. This communication can lead to veterans learning more about programs that can make a real difference in their lives.
Wayne/Pike County Farm Bureau Legislative Tour
There was a great turnout at the Wayne/Pike County Farm Bureau’s Legislative Tour. I want to give a big thanks to Tim and Lisa Jaggar for hosting this event. The farm was beautiful, and the locally sourced luncheon was superb.
Stay tuned for photos from the Harford Fair in next week’s email blast!
PennDOT Making Plans to Roll Out REAL ID
Beginning October 1, 2020, Pennsylvanians will need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, photo ID card, or another form of federally-acceptable identification (such as a valid passport or military ID) to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.
Starting Sept. 4, eligible Pennsylvania residents who wish to obtain a REAL ID may begin the pre-verification process. Customers who received their first license before September 2003 and want to obtain a real ID will need to bring the required documents to a Driver License Center so they can be verified in person. (Residents who received their first license after September 2003 have been able to pre-verify since March.) Those documents include:
PennDOT staff will scan 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.
- Proof of identity (original or certified copy of a birth certificate with a raised seal or valid U.S. Passport). Please contact my office if you need one. Processing times can take several months.
- Unlaminated Social Security card.
- Proof of all legal name changes (marriage certificate or court order).
- Two proofs of current, physical Pennsylvania 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).
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 age 65 and has a two-year license.
This expiration date structure means that the customer won’t “lose” time for which they’ve already paid. 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 License Center, have their documents verified and scanned, pay the one-time fee, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within seven to 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 must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building on and after Oct. 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 penndot.gov/REALID.
Fall Newsletter Now Available Online
My fall newsletter is arriving in mailboxes now, and includes my report to you. It contains information about our state budget.
You can also read the report online at this link.
Traveling Over Labor Day? Check Traffic Conditions on 511PA.com
Travelers can log onto 511PA.com to check current traffic impacts from construction, traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras. The service is free and available 24 hours a day.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Travelers are always reminded to buckle up, put their phones away and stay sober when behind the wheel.
In other PennDOT news, driver license and photo centers will be closed Saturday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 3, for Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
PennDOT Driver License Centers Closed for Holiday Weekend
All driver license and photo centers, including the full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Saturday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day. Customers may still obtain a variety of driver and vehicle products and services, including all forms, publications and driver training manuals, online through PennDOT’s Driver and Vehicle Services website, dmv.pa.gov.
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