Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
 
OOC Logo

Office of Communications

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
 

DPS Logo

Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement

Bureau of Criminal Apprehension

Driver and Vehicle Services

Emergency Communication Networks

Homeland Security and Emergency Management

Minnesota State Patrol

Office of Communications

Office of Justice Programs

Office of Pipeline Safety

Office of Traffic Safety

State Fire Marshal

NEWS RELEASE

Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
CONTACT:
Megan Leonard  651-201-7566
megan.leonard@state.mn.us
 
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 03, 2019
December REAL ID Update: Avoid Multiple Office Visits, Pre-Apply Online
DPS-DVS Reminds Minnesotans to Apply for a REAL ID Now
ST. PAUL — With the deadline to be REAL ID ready less than a year away, state officials are encouraging Minnesotans who apply for a REAL ID to use the online pre-application tool before they visit their local driver’s license office to ensure they have the required documents.
 
Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or enter federal facilities beginning Oct. 1, 2020. A standard Minnesota driver’s license will not be accepted for federal use as of that date, but it will still be a valid form of identification and valid for lawful driving privileges.
 
Approximately 9.72 percent of Minnesota driver’s license and identification card holders are currently REAL ID ready. That’s up from 7.8 percent at the end of September 2019.
 
“Applying for a REAL ID requires more documentation than Minnesotans are used to providing when renewing their standard driver’s license or ID card,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said. “We know this can be confusing, and we don’t want people making multiple trips to an office to complete their REAL ID application. That’s why DVS launched the pre-application tool with the new driver services system last year.”
 
Pre-Application Feature
The online pre-application feature allows Minnesotans to enter a significant portion of their driver’s license or ID card application from a computer or smartphone. The tool also includes a list of required documents for each license type to help applicants have all necessary documents ready when they visit a driver’s license office.
 
Common Document Issues
There isn’t one particular item Minnesotans are forgetting when they arrive at a driver’s license office to apply for a REAL ID. Some of the more common issues include:
 
  • Only bringing in one document providing Minnesota residency. Two different documents proving current Minnesota residency are required, and they must include the applicant’s current name and address.
  • Not providing adequate proof of name changes when the name on their documents doesn’t match their current legal name. A person must show proof of all name changes. These documents include certified marriage certificates, certified divorce decrees or a certified court order specifying the name change.
 
REAL ID Required Documents
Minnesotans are required to provide additional documentation when applying for a REAL ID, compared to a standard driver’s license or ID card.
 
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.
    • If you have not updated your name change with the Social Security Administration, you must do so prior to applying for a Real ID.
  • Two different documents proving current residency in Minnesota.
    • Must have applicant’s name as used at print and current address in Minnesota. A P.O. Box will not suffice as proof of current residency in Minnesota.
Applicants must provide original documents or documents certified by the agency that issued them. Laminated documents will not be accepted. Digital documents shown on your phone or other electronic device will also not be accepted. A full list of accepted documentation is on the REAL ID website.
 
Renew Early
Any eligible Minnesotan can apply for a REAL ID now, but there is a fee in addition to the standard cost of the license or ID card. It depends on how early you renew.
  • $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
When renewing early, four years will be added to the license or ID card’s original expiration date, so while an early renewal will cost a little more, the license or ID card will be valid for a longer period of time. The early renewal option is only for those who renewed their Minnesota driver’s license or ID card before REAL IDs were available on Oct. 1, 2018. Their licenses must also expire after the full enforcement date of Oct. 1, 2020.
 
Enhanced driver’s license or ID (EDL/EID)
State Enhanced Driver's Licenses (EDLs) are REAL ID-compliant and are acceptable for official federal purposes such as accessing a federal facility or boarding commercial aircraft. They are also designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and can be used to travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada and some Caribbean countries. Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Vermont, and Washington are the only states that currently issue EDLs.
 
Minnesotans who have an enhanced driver’s license or ID (EDL/EID) can continue to use it to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities after Oct. 1, 2020.
 
More information about EDLs and EIDs can be found on the REAL ID website.
 
When will I receive my REAL ID or EDL/EID?
DPS-DVS is working to process all driver’s license and ID card applications as quickly as possible. Here are the processing dates as of Nov. 27:
 
  • Standard licenses and ID cards:
    • DVS is currently processing standard applications from Oct. 15.
  • REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards:
    • DVS is currently processing REAL ID applications from Oct. 8.
  • Enhanced Driver’s Licenses and ID cards:
    • DVS is currently processing Enhanced applications from Oct. 11.
 
REAL ID Frequently Asked Questions
 
  • What documents do I need to obtain a REAL ID?
    • A person must provide:
      • 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 different documents proving current residency in Minnesota.  
  • What is the difference between a REAL ID and an enhanced driver’s license or ID?
    • REAL IDs:
      • Are issued to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizens.
      • Cost the same as a standard license or ID card.
      • Cannot be used as border crossing documents.
    • Enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards:
      • Are federally-approved border crossing documents under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative and can be used to travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada and some Caribbean countries.
      • Are only issued to U.S. citizens.
      • Cost $15 more than a standard license or ID card.
      • Require additional documentation that REAL IDs do not, such as proof of citizenship, proof of photographic identity and an interview questionnaire at the time of application.
  • How long is a REAL ID valid for?
    • A REAL ID driver’s license or ID card is valid for four years. This is the same as a standard and Enhanced Driver’s License or ID card
Federal enforcement and identification requirements
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:
  • Federally regulated commercial aircraft.
  • Federal facilities requiring identification to enter, such as military bases or nuclear power facilities.
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:
REAL ID Scoreboard
Approximately 9.72 percent of Minnesota driver’s license and identification card holders are currently REAL ID ready. That’s up from 7.8 percent at the end of September 2019.
 
As of Nov. 27, there are a total of:
  • 243,503 Minnesota REAL ID-compliant driver’s license and ID card holders.
  • 215,051 Minnesota enhanced driver’s license and ID card holders.
  • 4,260,777 Minnesota standard driver’s license and ID card holders.
Track Minnesota’s progress online at REALID.dps.mn.gov.
 
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 dvs.driverslicense@state.mn.us, 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 dvs.motor.vehicles@state.mn.us 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.
 
2018 Statistics:
  • 1.5 million driver’s license and ID cards issued.
  • 1.7 million titles issued.
  • 6.7 million vehicles registered.
  • DVS’ Public Information Center handled more than 1.4 million phone calls and 127,000 email correspondences.
 
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov