ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation which would allow Minnesotans to obtain an ID which complies with increased federal standards for such purposes as boarding commercial flights.
Without a change in state law, standard Minnesota driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable for boarding planes as soon as January of 2018. Minnesota is one of only a few states which remains out of compliance with the new standards.
The House’s proposal (H.F. 3) features a two-path approach which allows people who want a Real ID to receive one, while also providing citizens the option of continuing to use the standard state ID.
“The key thing with this bill is it allows people the Real ID option, but doesn’t force anyone to participate if they don't want to,” said Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township. “Remaining idle is not realistic and the federal deadline for bringing our IDs into compliance is rapidly approaching. But, again, it is crucial to provide an alternative for people who would rather not obtain a Real ID so I am pleased that option is included in the bill.”
Real ID is a federal law passed in 2005 with the goal to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain fake identification cards by setting standards that states must meet for their driver’s licenses. Some federal facilities, including military bases, have already began to require those without compliant licenses to provide passports or other documentation in order to be admitted.
The House passed the bill 72-58. The Senate version (S.F. 166) is making its way through the committee process.