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Rep. Urdahl: Get a Real ID now and spare headaches later

Wednesday, January 8, 2020


ST. PAUL – The deadline to comply with new federal ID standards arrives later this year and Rep. Dean Urdahl, R-Acton Township, encourages people to sign up now and beat the rush.

Starting Oct. 1, every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a Real ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport or passport card, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or enter federal facilities.

Reports show fewer than 10 percent of Minnesotans currently are compliant with the new ID standards and it is still taking several weeks for the state to turn around applications. Urdahl said the pressures on turnaround time could intensify this fall as more people get in line.

“Air travel probably is where the biggest impact will be felt if people do not obtain a Real ID since Minnesota’s current driver’s licenses no longer will work to board a flight,” Urdahl said. “The best thing to do is to take care of business now so you can avoid the backlogs, hassles and stresses that could occur as the deadline arrives.”

There are also additional documents needed to obtain a Real ID driver’s license or enhanced driver’s License or state ID card. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety website has information detailing the requirements and documents needed.  DPS also has a pre-application online page to help speed up the process for processing an application for the REAL ID.

The federal Real ID program was created in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Congress raised ID standards in 2005, phased in over a number of years, with the stated goal of protecting our nation. While Minnesota’s current standard IDs do not meet the heightened federal standards, legislation enacted in 2017 allows the state to come into compliance this year.