ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House on Tuesday passed legislation that allows Minnesota to research and discuss implementation of new federal Real ID standards in the state.
Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, voted in favor of the measure, which passed 125-2.
"This bill simply repeals a state law that was preventing us from researching and planning in response to the federal government raising the bar on ID requirements," Urdahl said. "Our state's standard ID does not meet new federal standards that are being implemented and we are now able to seek answers to questions. This bill does not commit us to complying with Real ID, but it lets us gain information so we can make educated decisions."
The federal government established the Real ID program as a way to increase security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This issue went relatively unnoticed as the first three phases were implemented, applying to access for places such as federal facilities and nuclear power plants. The fourth phase is the one that has gained the most attention, largely because it pertains to boarding domestic commercial flights.
The Department of Homeland Security recently told Minnesota it has at least until 2018 to develop Real ID-compliant licenses.
Senate passage is required for this legislation before it can be presented to Gov. Mark Dayton for his action. State law prohibiting the state's compliance with Real ID remains on the books pending additional legislative action.