ST. PAUL – A measure designed to conform to federal guidelines and allow Minnesotans to board a commercial airplane in 2018 has been approved in the Minnesota House. State Representative Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake) voted in favor of the proposal.
"This is the first step that the House needs to take in order to begin the discussion process for implementing REAL ID," Hamilton said. "I expect the actual program implementation legislation to be brought forward in the coming weeks."
Hamilton said the proposal partially repeals the 2009 ban on REAL ID implementation, allowing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to study REAL ID and issue a report to the legislature detailing steps needed for implementation, costs, and other necessary legislative changes.
The bill leaves in place the ban on implementation of REAL ID, requiring additional legislative action before DPS can begin the implementation process.
"The Department of Homeland Security has given us until 2018 to become compliant with the federal REAL ID guidelines," Hamilton said. "If we fail to do so, the current Minnesota's driver's license will not be enough to allow residents to board an airplane. So while we have two years to make the needed changes, it's important for lawmakers to get started early and work on a bipartisan solution."
Hamilton noted that if REAL ID's are ready to be issued by October 1, 2016, Minnesotans will be able to renew their drivers licenses on their existing renewal schedule, preventing them from having to pay for a new license before their current license expires.