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Applying for a REAL ID? Here’s how to save yourself some time.

Dec. 3, 2018

Minnestoa REAL ID driver's license

December has only just begun, and you’re probably already in the thick of the holiday jungle: the parties. The concerts. The decorating. And the shopping. If you’re like a lot of people, you’ve turned to online shopping to ease the burden. It’s so much easier to find what you want and, with a couple of clicks from the comfort of your own home, check off that box on your holiday to-do list.

If getting your REAL ID is another of those boxes, don’t worry: Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) has employed a similar concept. Using the pre-application feature on the new driver’s license system, you can fill out quite a bit of your license or ID card application online. That will reduce the amount of time you have to spend in the driver’s license office itself.

Another great feature of the pre-application system is that it lists the documents you’ll need for whatever license type you’re applying for. That will make it easier to gather everything you need to bring with you when you go. You can also find the list on the DVS website.

In keeping with the season, Minnesota got a holiday gift a little early: a letter from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to Gov. Dayton saying that we are now in compliance with the REAL ID Act! DHS reviewed all the information we provided and determined that we meet all the requirements.

The letter also reminds Minnesotans that there’s no huge rush to get REAL IDs. Federal agencies will accept your standard Minnesota driver’s license or ID until October 1, 2020. At that point, though, you’ll need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license/ID or passport to get on a domestic flight or enter a federal facility.

Whether you decide to get your REAL ID now or later, you’re not alone. As of November 27, almost 28,000 Minnesotans have applied for their REAL IDs. So if you decide to get yourself a REAL ID for Christmas, don’t forget to use the pre-application system. You can use the time you save wrapping gifts, writing holiday cards…or just relaxing.