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May REAL ID Update

May 7, 2018

Minnesotans should be able to use their standard driver’s license or identification cards for domestic air travel or access to federal facilities until 2020 since the state is on-track to issue REAL ID-compliant cards later this year.

The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) informed the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) during a quarterly REAL ID compliance check-in that the state was making the necessary progress to comply with the federal regulations.

Governor Dayton and DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met in January in Washington, DC, to discuss Minnesota’s progress toward federal REAL ID compliance and the next extension request cycle. Minnesota currently has an extension for REAL ID enforcement until October 10, 2018. While DHS is currently not accepting state applications at this time, DHS informed DPS-DVS the state may request an extension from enforcement later this year, to bridge the gap between when Minnesota begins issuing REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards and when DHS approves the state’s compliance certification. Minnesota has been working closely with DHS to achieve full compliance with all REAL ID requirements by this coming October. This means that Minnesotans will be able to use their current licenses and ID cards for federal purposes until October 1, 2020.

See the May REAL ID Update news release for more details.

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.
Federal enforcement and identification requirements

How to stay updated

  • The DPS-DVS Facebook page will have information that can easily be shared.
  • A recent DPS Blog post has information to consider when deciding which license or ID card you need.