ST. PAUL — A REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card will not be required for domestic air travel for two years, but Minnesotans who choose to apply for one will need to bring in more documentation than is required for a standard driver’s license.
The additional documentation required by federal law ensures the new licenses and ID cards meet minimum federal security standards established by Congress in 2005 under the REAL ID Act. To obtain a REAL ID, applicants must provide proof of identity, date of birth, legal status, Social Security number and Minnesota residency.
Minnesotans will be able to apply for REAL IDs beginning Oct. 1, 2018, but there is no need to rush to obtain one. A Minnesota standard license or ID card will be accepted for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until Oct. 1, 2020.
To apply for a REAL ID, Minnesotans will need to present the following documents in person:
- One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States, such as a passport or a birth certificate. 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, such as a social security card or a federal W2 form.
- Two documents proving current residency in Minnesota. Examples include a valid driver’s license or ID card, a cancelled check or a credit card statement.
A complete list of acceptable documents for REAL ID can be found at REALID.dps.mn.gov.
Other License/ID Options
In addition to REAL ID, Minnesota offers two other driver’s license and ID card options, each of which have their own set of required documentation.
Enhanced driver’s license or ID
An enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or ID card (EID) is REAL ID-compliant and can be used to board domestic flights and enter federal facilities now and after Oct. 1, 2020. It can also be used to cross U.S. borders into and from Canada, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean by land or sea.
A complete list of acceptable documents for EDL or EID can be found on the DPS-DVS website.
- Only U.S. citizens may apply for an EDL or EID. The applicant must provide proof of identity, full legal name, social security number, photographic identity, Minnesota residency and U.S. citizenship.
- Two types of documents must be submitted to prove Minnesota residency. For example, an electric bill or phone bill and a tax return.
- An Interview Questionnaire must be completed at the time of application.
Standard driver’s license or ID
A standard driver’s license or ID card will continue to be accepted for driving and basic identification purposes beyond Oct. 1, 2020. It will not be accepted for federal purposes after that date.
- 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).
A complete list of acceptable documents for a standard driver’s license or ID card can be found on the DPS-DVS website.
Driver’s License Agent Offices will be Closed Sept. 28 and 29
Driver’s License Agent offices will be closed on Friday, Sept. 28, and Saturday, Sept. 29, to transition to a new driver’s license system, developed by FAST Enterprises, that will be able to issue REAL IDs in Minnesota
. Some offices may choose to offer limited services on those days related to motor vehicles only. Residents are encouraged to call ahead to find out which offices will be open for those services.
REAL ID not required until 2020
Minnesotans will be able to apply for a REAL ID-compliant card beginning Oct. 1, 2018, but they will have two years to obtain one if they choose. That means that Minnesotans will be able to use their standard licenses and ID cards for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until October 1, 2020.
The U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) informed the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) during a compliance check-in earlier this year that the state was making the necessary progress to comply with federal regulations.
Since there is no need to obtain a REAL ID at this time, state officials are suggesting that residents wait to apply unless they need to change their name or address, or renew their current license. This will help ease the transition to the new card and reduce wait times.
REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions
These are the top questions Minnesotans are asking DPS-DVS about REAL ID.
- Do I need to get a REAL ID?
- REAL IDs are optional. A standard driver’s license or ID card will continue to be acceptable for driving and other identification purposes after REAL ID becomes available in October. 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.
- What will a REAL ID cost?
- A REAL ID will cost the same as a standard driver’s license ($25.25) or ID card ($19.25). Fees will 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.
- $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
- At which locations will I be able to apply for a REAL ID?
- REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards will be available at most driver’s license office locations beginning Oct. 1, 2018. The DPS-DVS website will have updated information on which locations will accept REAL ID applications after Oct. 1.
Federal enforcement and identification requirements
- For more information on acceptable forms of identification for boarding aircraft, please see TSA’s website.
- Please check with individual federal facilities regarding their requirements.
- Information from the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security:
How to stay updated
- Find Minnesota REAL ID information and resources at the state’s website: REALID.dps.mn.gov.
- 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.
How to get help
- For driver services questions (licenses, ID cards, driver compliance and exams) send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and include your full name and date of birth with your question. You can also call 651-297-3298.
- For vehicle services questions (ownership transfers, titles, liens and vehicle registration) visit the DVS website and submit your question using the vehicle services contact forms. You can also call 651-297-2126 or email email@example.com and include your full name, date of birth, and license plate or VIN number with your question.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About Driver and Vehicle Services
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) is responsible for driver testing, driver licensing and maintenance of driver records; driver evaluation and compliance; motor vehicle title and registration; commercial vehicle registration; motor vehicle dealer licensing and regulation; and enforcement of no-fault insurance requirements.
The Minnesota Licensing and Registration System (MNLARS) is a multi-year project sponsored by the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division (DVS). It replaces the division’s 30-year-old information technology system with one that will meet the needs and expectations of the division’s customers, employees and business partners.
- 1.65 million driver’s license and ID cards issued.
- 1.7 million titles issued.
- 6 million vehicles registered.
- DVS’ Public Information Center handled more than 1.2 million phone calls and 110,000 email correspondences.