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Minnesota Licenses to be accepted at Airports through 2020

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The never-ending Real ID saga continues 🙂
Real ID compliant forms of identification became required for domestic travel in January. Minnesota and roughly 20 other states are currently able to use the standard IDs under a federal extension. Today, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said that Federal regulators would accept the standard Minnesota Driver's Licenses (or ID's)  through October 2020.


What is Real ID?

Real ID has been an issue we've been hearing about for over a decade. The Real ID act was passed by Congress in 2005, as a counterterrorism measure to improve personal identification. The part that impacts travelers, is the requirement that all states were required to have their Driver's Licenses or other forms of ID comply with REAL ID by January 2018. There were 20 states who failed to remain compliant and have been granted another extension from the Federal government through October 2018


What Minnesotans need to know:

  • Minnesota's extension is set to lapse October 11, 2018, but today the Department of Public Safety said it had been assured by the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security that they would continue accepting the standard IDs until October 2020.
  • Minnesota expects to begin issuing Real ID-compliant licenses in October 2018
  • Minnesotans should renew their driver’s licenses or identification cards as they normally would. The renewed license will be valid for four years.
  • If a Minnesotan chooses to apply for a REAL ID before their standard license expires, an early renewal fee would be charged and an additional four years would be added to the expiration date. The early renewal fee, set in Minnesota law, is based on how many months the REAL ID is obtained before a person’s driver’s license or ID card expires.
    • $2 for a renewal 17 months before expiration.
    • $4 for a renewal 18-29 months before expiration.
    • $6 for a renewal more than 29 months before expiration.
  • If your license expires from May 2018 –  October 2018, you should pony up the cash to get an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL), to ensure you are REAL ID compliant until your card expires four years later in 2022. You can then get a free Real ID compliant license at your next renewal.
States with extensions through October 2018 in yellow


Bottom Line 

Real ID is confusing for states who are not in compliance and it's the fault of each state legislature for failing to be compliant on time. While Minnesota currently has a game plan, each non-compliant state will have to apply for another extension before October 2018. The good news is Minnesotans won't be needing to use a U.S. Passport for domestic travel anytime soon. Make sure to get a REAL ID compliant ID at your next renewal.

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