By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Pennsylvania Department of State’s new voter ID will be available at PennDOT driver licensing centers beginning Monday.
The new free photo ID will be available for voters who sign an affirmation saying that they are unable to get all of the documents necessary for a PennDOT non-drivers ID.
“When we implemented the voter ID law, we did discover that there was a small group of individuals that could not get birth records, particularly, if they were born in another state or another country,” said Ron Ruman, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of State. He says the new ID is primarily for these voters and requires less documentation:
“They’ll only need their social security number,” he says. “They don’t need the card, they just need the number and two proofs of residence, such as utility bills, tax bills, magazine subscriptions. And they also need to be a registered voter. We can verify voter registration records on site.”
Ruman says the DOS ID may not be an option for most voters born in Pennsylvania.
“Most people who were born in Pennsylvania will need to go through the steps and have their birth records electronically verified and then they’ll get a letter from PennDOT,” he says. “And they’ll need to come back and get they’re PennDOT ID.” That process takes about 10 days and requires two trips to PennDOT, so voters should take the necessary steps early to get an ID. “We certainly urge folks not to wait until the last minute.”
He says DOS ID will be good for ten years and can only be used for voting. “It will be for voting purposes only,” Ruman says. “It’s not like the PennDOT ID where you can use it to get on a plane or to cash a check.”
The DOS ID is free and will be available at PennDOT driver licensing centers. For more info on how to get it, go to votespa.com.