New law improving Pennsylvanians’ ability to obtain ID, update CDL license requirements


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is implementing a new law that expands commercial driver’s license requirements, gives Pennsylvanians with visual impairments improved access to a driver’s license and provides free identification cards to those experiencing homelessness.

“This new law makes significant changes to increasing many of our residents’ independence, ultimately enhancing their quality of life,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

Act 131 of 2020 will update requirements and restrictions for drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Major changes include reporting requirements for convictions and violations and will permanently bar drivers from operating a commercial motor vehicle for human trafficking convictions. These changes in the law become effective on various dates starting in early 2021.

Act 131 also allows eligible individuals to use bioptic telescope lenses to help them obtain a driver’s license. The move follows 28 other states and is designed to help individuals meet visual acuity standards who otherwise wouldn’t be able to obtain a license. PennDOT will implement the program on September 27, 2021.

The new law also makes it possible for Pennsylvanians experiencing homelessness to be issued a free initial photo ID or renewal. Applicants will be required to apply in-person at a PennDOT Driver License Center. This section of the law is going into effect on January 25, 2021. Additional information can be found on the Driver and Vehicle Services website.


Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Events Calendar