Another Change Announced to Obtain Photo ID

Birth Certificates for PA-Born Residents Not Required (must still go to DMV to get non photo ID)

Act 18 now requires all Pennsylvania voters to show photo ID to vote .  It is estimated that up to 18% of older Americans do not have photo ID and many will face obstacles in obtaining it.  Implementation of the law has been inconsistent and many new rules of implementation rules have been issued by the Commonwealth.  One of several new changes in implementation of obtaining photo ID is that people born in Pennsylvania will be able to get a non-driver photo ID card for voting purposes if they lack an acceptable alternative ID without obtaining a birth certificate.  The PA State Department now states that they can certify the birth records of Pennsylvania natives without the need for them to purchase a duplicate birth certificate with a raised seal.  Those who

Individuals must visit a PennDOT drivers license center and submit the necessary information. The information will then be forwarded to the Department of Health, which maintains birth records.  Once it is verified that the individual’s birth record is on file, applicants will be notified by mail when to pick up the non-driver photo ID card for voting purposes. The process, which is free, is expected to take about 10 days.

Anyone who purchased a Pennsylvania birth certificate for voter ID purposes after March 14, 2012, can apply for a refund by visiting one of the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s six regional offices. For more information, visit, under the “Birth and Death Certificates” tab.

To be eligible for a refund, you must show proof that a birth certificate was purchased after the date the Voter ID law went into effect, as well as the photo ID obtained from PennDOT.

Anyone who holds a Pennsylvania driver’s license or non-driver photo ID that has expired since 1990 does not need any proof of ID or residence to get a photo ID for voting. People need only give their name to a PennDOT customer service representative and indicate they have an expired license.  This change was also added after the law was passed.  

For identification issues, call PennDOT’s customer care center at 1-800-932-4600.
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Pennsylvania seniors with photo ID questions can call the Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine at 1.877.PA SR LAW.


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