|Thanks for Coming!
Thank you to the senior citizens, family members, caregivers and vendors who came out to our Senior Fair on Thursday. We had a great time meeting some new folks and reconnecting with those of you who’ve attended the fair in the past. I hope you found it helpful and enjoyable! I’m pictured here with my outstanding staff team (from left): Dana Bentsel, Jamie Maggs, Kristi Marshall and Laura Robison.
PennDOT Making Plans to Roll Out REAL 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:
- 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).
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.
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.
Mark Your Calendar!
Rep. Garth Everett and I will be hosting a series of Gun Law Seminars in October. Presenters will include Lycoming County Judge Marc Lovecchio, who will discuss Pennsylvania’s Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground laws; Lycoming County Sheriff Mark Lusk, who will explain rules and regulations surrounding licenses to carry firearms; a police officer, who will discuss how to safely interact with the police when carrying a firearm; and an officer from the Pennsylvania Game Commission, who will discuss firearm carry laws as they relate to hunting seasons.
The events are scheduled as follows:
Seating is limited and advance registration is required. To RSVP, click here, or contact the district office by calling (570) 398-4476 or emailing Kathy Koch at email@example.com.
- Thursday, Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m. at Mountain View Alliance Church, 1515 Cemetery St., Jersey Shore.
- Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6-8 p.m. at Old Lycoming Township Volunteer Fire Co., 1600 Dewey Ave., Williamsport.
- Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6-8 p.m. at Hughesville Volunteer Fire Co., 2 S. Railroad St., Hughesville.
Stop By During Extended Office Hours on First Fridays
In conjunction with Williamsport’s First Friday events, I will be holding extended office hours on the first Friday of the month for the next three months.
This is a great opportunity for us to talk one-on-one about the issues that matter most to you and your neighbors. I’ll be available to share information about what’s happening in state government, answer questions and listen to concerns so that we can all work together for the betterment of our communities and the Commonwealth.
The office, located at 349 Pine St., Suite 1, in Williamsport, will be open until 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7; Friday, Oct. 5; and Friday, Nov. 2.
Normal business hours at my office are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact us by phone at 570-321-1270 or go online at RepWheeland.com or Facebook.com/RepWheeland. You may also send an email to JWheeland@pahousegop.com.
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. 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.
Fall Newsletter Now Available Online
You may have already received my fall newsletter in your mailboxes, but if you didn’t, it is also available online here. In it, you’ll find information about this year’s budget, school safety initiatives, upcoming events and more.
Don’t Miss Out: Sign Up to Continue Receiving Updates
House rules prevent the districtwide distribution of legislative emails 60 days prior to the election. You can ensure that you’ll still receive these updates without interruption by signing up here. Please know that all email addresses are only used by my office and are not shared with or sold to any third parties.
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.
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.