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

Thursday, January 9, 2020


ST. PAUL – The deadline to comply with new federal ID standards arrives later this year and Rep. Joe McDonald, R-Delano, 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. McDonald said the pressures on turnaround time could intensify in coming months as more people get in line.

“House Republicans worked hard to make the best of a bad situation in terms of complying with federal guidelines while also protecting citizens’ data security,” McDonald said. “In the end, state law does not require people to get a Real ID, so you can opt out if you choose to do so. Just know that, as of Oct. 1, abstaining from Real ID means you must supply a passport or other acceptable form of ID to board an airplane because the standard IDs we have been using for years will no longer suffice. Those who decide to get a Real ID are advised to do so now in case backlogs grow and turnaround time is slowed as we near October.”

There are 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.


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