The Mehaffie Message 12/9/22 - Emailed Newsletter
Mehaffie Message
REAL ID Deadline Now Extended to 2025

Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced it is extending the REAL ID enforcement date by two years to May 7, 2025.

As of May 7, 2025, you will need to present a federally accepted form of identification to board a commercial domestic flight or visit a secure federal building that requires ID at the door. Federally accepted forms of identification include a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a U.S. passport or passport card, or a military ID.

REAL ID is not mandatory. PennDOT continues to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs.

To learn more about REAL ID, the cost and how to obtain one, visit
Hershey History Center Awarded Grant

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission recently approved a $3,939 grant for the Hershey History Center. I advocated for this project because the archives not only share stories from Derry Township, but also provide broader context of American manufacturing communities.

This grant will be used to safely store the Perley J. Hill collection on the Hershey Bears hockey history.

Tis the Season…for Holiday Scams

It is everyone’s favorite time of the year, especially scammers who seek to capitalize on people’s general goodwill and the influx of online shopping during this time.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is warning consumers to be on the lookout for the following holiday scams:

     The Bait and Switch: Take retailers’ advertisements to the store with you. Unscrupulous retailers may advertise goods at low prices, but when you get to the store the price may be higher than advertised or the product might not be there at all.
     Skimming Devices: During the holidays last year, police were called to a retailer at the King of Prussia mall to remove a skimming device from one store’s register. Sometimes skimming devices are placed on gas pumps or ATMs to capture data from the magnetic stripe on the back of credit and debit cards. If something looks out of place or easily wiggles, use a different ATM, gas pump or register.
     “Cybersquatting” Sites: Crooks try to impersonate well-known websites by inverting characters or slightly altering the name of a well-known website. The copycat sites may look similar to the real website – and they can steal your credit information. Carefully read website addresses to ensure you are shopping on a legitimate website.
     Copycat and Fraudulent Websites: Fake websites set up by scammers target online shoppers during the holiday season. Sometimes appearing as ad results in online searches, these sites may contain malware or steal inputted credit card data. Avoid making purchases from untrustworthy sites.
  •   Security Certificates: To ensure you are shopping on a secure website, make sure the website begins with “https” and has a small padlock icon next to the webpage address. Keep your computer, tablet or smartphone up-to-date and install security software.
  •   Retailers Who Request Payment through Wire Transfer: Legitimate online businesses will not use wire transfer to collect payment for purchases. This is a sure sign of a scam.

Consumers should also be aware that although gift cards can be a versatile and practical holiday gift, they are also often used by scammers. Remember, no government agency will ever ask you to pay a fine, fee or penalty with a gift card. If you receive a call telling you to pay a debt or some other cost via gift card, that is a red flag of a scam. Hang up immediately. Once a scammer has the codes and pins from a gift card, it is extremely difficult to recover any funds.

Pennsylvanians who believe they have been victims of a holiday scam can file a complaint with the Office of Attorney General Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555, or To receive scam alerts from the Office of Attorney General, click here.
Want to Help Veterans This Christmas?

Pennsylvanians looking for a patriotic way to spread cheer during the holiday season are reminded that they can give to programs that support the commonwealth’s nearly 700,000 veterans, service members and their families. The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) manages these programs. Monetary donations to these tax-deductible programs can be made by individuals, corporations and companies.

The tax-deductible programs administered by the DMVA are:

Military Family Relief Assistance Program (MFRAP): The MFRAP provides financial assistance, in the form of grants, to eligible Pennsylvania service members and their eligible family members who have an immediate financial need based on circumstances beyond their control. This program is made possible by generous donations from taxpayers who designate all or part of their Pennsylvania Personal Income Tax refund to support Pennsylvania military personnel and their families, and by those who donate online or by mail.

Veterans’ Trust Fund (VTF): The VTF issues grants to statewide charitable organizations that assist veterans, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs to help veterans in need of shelter and necessities of living. The VTF also issues temporary assistance grants to individual veterans that have qualifying financial needs. The grants are funded by generous Pennsylvanians who voluntarily donate when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo identification card and renewing a motor vehicle registration, from proceeds generated by the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans and Honoring Our Women Veterans license plates, and by those who donate online or by mail.

Six Resident Welfare Funds: Resident Welfare Funds at each of the DMVA’s six veterans homes help to keep the residents active and healthy by providing activities and entertainment. Donations are made online or through private donations by mail. The six Pennsylvania veterans homes and their locations are: Delaware Valley Veterans’ Home (Philadelphia), Gino J. Merli Veterans’ Center (Scranton), Hollidaysburg Veterans’ Home (Hollidaysburg), Pennsylvania Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Home (Erie), Southeastern Veterans’ Center (Spring City), and Southwestern Veterans’ Center (Pittsburgh).

Pennsylvania Veterans’ Memorial Trust Fund: Located at Indiantown Gap National Cemetery in Lebanon County, and maintained by the DMVA, the Pennsylvania Veterans' Memorial is the first in the commonwealth to honor veterans of all eras from the Revolutionary War forward and it is the largest veterans memorial located in any of the national cemeteries. Donations are accepted online or by mail to help fund the maintenance and repair of the memorial. The memorial is currently under-going structural renovations.

When an online donation is made, donors may choose to enter honoree information and a plaque in their honor will be displayed on the Virtual Donor Wall. Online plaques will show that donations have been made: ‘in honor of,’ ‘in memory of,’ or ‘on behalf of’ someone.

To make a donation online or by mail for any of these tax-deductible programs, or to learn more about each one, go to
2023 PA Fishing Licenses, Permits, Gift Vouchers on Sale

Looking for the perfect gift or stocking stuffer for the angler in your life?

Fishing licenses, permits and vouchers for the 2023 season are on sale now through the HuntFishPA online portal, on the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission website, on your smartphone using the FishBoatPA mobile app, or by visiting one of nearly 700 retail license issuing agents. All 2023 licenses, permits, a unique collectible license button, and vouchers purchased now are valid immediately for up to 13 months, from Dec. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2023.

As a reminder, the 2023 Statewide Mentored Youth Trout Day is March 25, and the 2023 Opening Day of Trout Season is April 1.

To learn more, click here.  
Turnpike Toll Increases Coming

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission recently approved a 5% toll increase for 2023 for all E-ZPass and Toll By Plate customers. The new rates will take effect across the toll-highway system on Jan. 8, 2023, at 12:01 a.m.?

The most common toll for a passenger vehicle next year will increase from $1.70 to $1.80 for E-ZPass customers and from $4.10 to $4.40 for Toll By Plate customers. Learn more here. 
Capitol Christmas Tree Illuminated

The 20-foot Douglas fir in the Capitol Rotunda will be illuminated every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through early January. The tree was donated by Crystal Spring Tree Farm in Lehighton, Carbon County, and is decorated with handmade ornaments from Pennsylvania senior citizens and preschoolers and lit with nearly 1,000 LED lights. A metal-fabricated star made by employees at the state Department of General Services is placed on top.

To watch the tree-lighting ceremony, which took place Dec. 5, click here.