Hello from St. Paul,
The deadline to comply with new federal ID standards arrives later this year, so I’m encouraging 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.
Very simply, if you don’t have the proper identification, you won’t be getting on an airplane in October. The turnaround process for obtaining a new driver’s license could be slow, so the sooner people can start this process the better.
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.
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.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website has information detailing the requirements and documents needed to obtain a Real ID driver’s license or enhanced driver’s License or state ID card. Click here to learn more.
On Thursday, I was pleased to take part in the grand reopening of the Armed Forces Service Center at the Twin Cities International Airport.
The center is a place where retired and active duty military members can unwind when they’re waiting for their flight. The nice thing about the renovated area is its location on the receiving side of the airport, meaning military members don’t have to go through the security screening process multiple times in order to leave or gain entry.
I co-authored the bill that provided funds towards its remodeling, and it’s a beautiful center that I hope all of our veterans and active duty military will utilize. They’ve earned it.
I also was interviewed by Minnesota Military Radio yesterday on the Armed Forces Service Center reopening.
It’s always fun to chat with host Tom Lyons, answer any questions and give updates on how veterans legislation is progressing at the State Capitol.
Finally, I was pleased to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Minneapolis Veterans Truss Bridge.
Over the years, the bridge had encountered structural damage and the Legislature authorized bonding funds to make needed repairs. With the renovation complete, the bridge was rededicated and is open for business. My thanks to everyone who helped make this project reality, including Peggy Moon, Past Commander of the American Legion, who played a critical role in moving the initiative forward.
Have a good weekend,