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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Joe Schomacker (R)

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House has approved legislation that begins Minnesota's REAL-ID compliance process, which is necessary in order to allow travelers to board an airplane beginning in 2018.


"Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that have not adopted the federal REAL-ID guidelines," said State Representative Joe Schomacker (R-Luverne). "The federal government granted Minnesota additional time to work out an agreement, and this legislation takes the first step towards moving that process forward."


In January, the Department of Homeland Security told Minnesota it had until 2018 to develop REAL-ID compliant licenses. Without them, residents could not board an airplane.


Feeling it was an invasion of privacy, Minnesota legislators approved a law in 2008 barring Minnesota's Department of Public Safety from even discussing REAL-ID compliance with Homeland Security. The measure approved by the House recently would eliminate that ban and allow the planning process to begin.


"It's worth reminding residents that no Minnesota traveler would have their travel plans impacted due to REAL-ID for at least another two years," Schomacker said. "But Republicans and Democrats agree that we should not wait that long before we take action."


Schomacker said a second bill that actually deals with full implementation of REAL-ID will likely be brought forward later this year.