Senator Bob Mensch E-Newsletter

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In this Update:

  • Federal REAL ID Deadline Approaching
  • Travel Guidance for Returning Travelers to Pennsylvania
  • Benefits and Rights for Older Pennsylvanians
  • Learn About New Voting Systems
  • Permanent “Do Not Call” List
  • Korean War “Ambassador for Peace Medal”
  • Open Link Donations Accepted
  • May 13: Dementia Friends Information Session

Federal REAL ID Deadline Approaching

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reports that it is well on its way to meeting the projected demand for REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and photo ID cards.

A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must be used as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access on and after October 1, 2020. REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania, there is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

Federal REAL ID regulations require that PennDOT verify a customer’s identity, social security number, Pennsylvania residency, and name changes (if applicable), even if a customer already has a PA driver’s license or ID card. More info about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Customers have three options for obtaining a REAL ID product: customers may order their REAL ID online if they have been pre-verified; they can visit any PennDOT Driver’s License Center, have their documents verified and imaged, and their REAL ID product will be mailed to them within 15 business days; or they can visit one of twelve REAL ID Centers and receive their REAL ID product over-the-counter at the time of service.

When a customer gets their first REAL ID product, they 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).

PennDOT has upgraded it driver’s license center at 1700 Markley St, Norristown to allow for over-the-counter issuance of REAL ID, and added new locations, including 143 S. Gulph Road, King of Prussia.  

More information about REAL ID in Pennsylvania, including frequently asked questions and information on documents required for REAL ID, can be found at

Travel Guidance for Returning Travelers to Pennsylvania

According to the PA Department of health, individuals returning from China, Iran, Italy and South Korea should self-monitor their health for COVID-19 symptoms like fever, cough, or trouble breathing. If you become sick, call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room.

Travelers who are self-monitoring their health and practicing social distancing should:

  • Take your temperature with a thermometer twice day and monitor for fever. Also watch for cough or trouble breathing.
  • Stay home and avoid contact with others. Do not go to work or school for this 14-day period.
  • If you must leave your home, do not take public transportation, taxis or ride-shares during the time you are practicing social distancing.
  • If you must leave your home, avoid crowded places (such as shopping centers and movie theaters) and limit your activities in public.
  • Keep your distance from others (about 6 feet or 2 meters).

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons call ahead to 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) and your doctor and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19. If you need support during this 14-day period of self-monitoring and social distancing, you can also call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258). When 14 days have passed since your departure date, you can return to your regular routine.

Pennsylvanians are encouraged to help stop the spread of viruses by:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean surfaces frequently, including countertops, light switches, cell phones and other frequently touched items.
  • If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

For information and updates related to novel coronavirus, visit the Department of Health website at

Benefits and Rights for Older Pennsylvanians

The 2020 Benefits and Rights for Older Pennsylvanians guide is available, with information on resources serving older adults on the state and local levels.

It covers such topics as housing, insurance, legal services, long-term care, protective services and more. Get a copy through my office, Area Agency on Aging or online.

Learn About New Voting Systems

Ahead of the April 28 primary, voters can learn specifics about their county’s voting system and how to use it.

Choose your county and view a description of its voting system, along with photos and videos providing a step-by-step process of how to use the system.

Permanent “Do Not Call” List

The General Assembly’s passage of Act 73 at the end of last year means that all consumers previously registered for PA’s “Do Not Call” list are permanently enrolled and not required to regularly re-register.

Still getting calls? Verify your registration and file a complaint here.

Korean War “Ambassador for Peace Medal”

Open Link Donations Accepted

My office is now accepting donations for The Open Link.

Open Link is a multi-service agency serving the greater Upper Perkiomen Valley, who provides services and programs that help, educate, and empower, as well as opportunities that promote socialization and volunteerism for people of all ages to lead healthy and productive lives.

Check out their website here:

All donations can be dropped off at one of my district offices by March 31, 2020. Constituents may continue donations directly to Open Link after March 31. Questions can be directed to my office at 215-541-2388.

May 13: Dementia Friends Information Session

On May 13, I will be hosting an informational session to help individuals learn about what like can be like for people living with dementia and how to help them integrate with the community. For more information, see the attached flyer.

To register for the Dementia Friends Information Session, visit:

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