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Minnesota in Full Compliance with the Federal REAL ID Act

Minnesota is now in full compliance with the federal REAL ID Act. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security sent a letter to Governor Mark Dayton stating that the department completed its review and determined Minnesota has met all requirements to be in full compliance.

Gov. Dayton released a statement saying, "I want to congratulate and thank everyone who has worked so very hard to make this day happen."

Federal agencies will continue to accept standard Minnesota driver's licenses and identification cards for official purposes until Oct. 1, 2020. After Oct. 1, 2020, a REAL ID, Enhanced driver's license or ID or passport will be required for those wanting to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.


Minnesota Issuing REAL ID Driver's Licenses and ID Cards as of Oct. 1, 2018

With the launch of a new driver's license system Oct. 1, Minnesotans now have the option to apply for a REAL ID-compliant driver's license or ID card.

Minnesota REAL ID driver's licenses


Remember: There's no need to rush to get a REAL ID. A standard license or ID card will be accepted for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until Oct. 1, 2020.

To help reduce wait times, state officials are suggesting residents wait to apply unless they need to change their name or address or renew their current license.

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards. The Act refers to federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations that control access to the following:

  • Federally regulated commercial aircraft.
  • Federal facilities requiring identification to enter, such as military bases or nuclear power facilities.

The Act prohibits federal agencies like the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from accepting cards for official purposes from states that do not meet minimum security standards.


Important Things to Remember

  • REAL IDs are optional. Standard driver’s licenses and ID cards will continue to be acceptable for driving and other identification purposes now that REAL ID is available.

  • Minnesotans will be able to use their standard licenses and ID cards for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until October 1, 2020.

  • After Oct. 1, 2020, a REAL ID, Enhanced driver’s license or ID or passport will be required for those wanting to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.

  • REAL ID applicants should be sure to have all required documentation with them at the time of application. Visit the Required Documents page for a full list.

Driver's License and ID Card Options

Minnesota has three identification options from which residents may choose:

  • Standard Driver's License or ID Card
  • Enhanced Driver's License or Enhanced ID Card
  • REAL ID-Compliant Driver's License or ID Card

Determining which type of license or ID card works best depends on what a person needs to use the card for. Visit the License/ID Options page or use the new Help Me Choose tool to find the card that best fits your needs.

Cost of a REAL ID

A REAL ID costs the same as a standard driver’s license ($25.25) or ID card ($19.25). Fees apply for early renewals depending on how many months the REAL ID is obtained before a person’s driver’s license or ID card expires. The fees, set in Minnesota law:
  • $2 for a renewal up to 17 months before expiration
  • $4 for a renewal 18-29 months before expiration
  • $6 for a renewal more than 29 months before expiration
Those who renew early will also have four years added to their original expiration date. So while an early renewal will cost a little more, Minnesotans who renew early will have their driver’s license or ID card valid for a longer period of time.

Complete Listing of Costs and Fess for Driver's Licenses and ID Cards


Pre-Application Feature Makes Office Visits Quicker

Pre-Appy for a driver's license or ID cardA pre-application feature in the new driver's license system allows Minnesotans to enter a significant portion of their driver’s license or ID card application online – including REAL ID applications - reducing the time spent in driver’s license offices.

The new feature, also available on mobile devices, includes the list of required documents for each license type so applicants can have all necessary documents ready when they visit a driver’s license office.

What You Need to Bring when Applying for a License or ID


Applying for a REAL ID compliant card requires additional documentation compared to the requirements for a standard Minnesota driver's license. A person must provide the following in person when applying:

  • One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States.
    • If the name on the identity document is not the same as a person's current name, a name change document must be submitted.
  • One document proving social security number.
  • Two documents proving current residency in Minnesota.

Complete list of acceptable documents for REAL ID

Enhanced driver’s license or ID

Applying for an EDL or EID requires additional requirements and documentation compared to a standard Minnesota license.

  • Only an applicant who can provide proof of identity, full legal name, social security number, photographic identity, Minnesota residency and U.S. citizenship is eligible for a Minnesota EDL or EID.
  • Two types of documents must be submitted to prove Minnesota residency. For example, an electric bill or phone bill and a tax return.
  • An EDL/EID must list the Minnesota residence address.
  • Complete an Interview Questionnaire at the time of application.
  • A $15 fee is required in addition to the fee for a driver’s license or ID card.

Complete list of document requirements for an EDL of EID

Standard driver’s license or ID

  • To apply for a standard driver’s license, identification card, or permit, you may present a Minnesota driver’s license, identification card, or permit that is current or expired for five years or less if it has a photo, or one year or less if it does not have a photo.
  • If you do not have one of the items listed above, you must present two documents, including one document that contains your full name and the month, day and year of your birth. These documents may include a birth certificate, passport or a Social Security card.
  • If the name on your driver’s license, identification card or permit has changed or the names on your other documents do not match, you must also present proof of your legal name change(s).