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Megan Leonard  651-201-7566
January 29, 2018
Archived: January REAL ID Update: Standard Driver's Licenses and ID Cards Acceptable for Federal Purposes through Oct. 10, 2018
DVS Launches Website, Facebook Page to Provide REAL ID Updates

The information in this news release is dated and may have changed since its publication date. For up-to-date REAL ID information, visit REALID.dps.mn.gov.

ST. PAUL — Minnesotans can use their current driver’s licenses for federal purposes, including boarding commercial aircraft, through Oct. 10, 2018. That’s because Gov. Dayton asked for and received an extension to comply with the federal REAL ID requirements.

The Minnesota legislature passed a law that directs the Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) to make REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses available by Oct. 2018. DPS-DVS and MNIT are currently working to meet that deadline. 

DPS-DVS will provide more information on how to obtain a REAL ID compliant driver's license in the coming months.

Stay up-to-date on REAL ID in Minnesota
In addition to regular updates, DPS-DVS will provide REAL ID information on the web and through social media so Minnesotans can stay informed about new developments and find resources as the availability of REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards approaches.
  • The website is dedicated to REAL ID information and resources and the DPS-DVS Facebook page will have information that can easily be shared. 
  • A recent DPS Blog post also has information to consider when deciding which license or ID card you need. A REAL ID will be one of several options, when it is available. 
  • DPS-DVS will include answers to frequently asked questions that are received through emails, phone calls, and social media channels.  

Making progress on the new driver’s license system
DPS-DVS and Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) contracted with FAST Enterprises to develop a new driver services system that will produce REAL IDs.
  • FAST has had a team in Minnesota since November working to develop the new system and process that will launch REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses by Oct. 1, 2018, to comply with state law.
  • The project team consists of eight separate teams. Development teams are working on license issuance, legal compliance, financials, interfaces with other agencies and organizations, data conversion, system training and communication, system testing and tech support. 
  • DPS-DVS, MNIT and FAST will begin communicating with deputy registrars in February. There will be more information in the coming weeks regarding training on the new system.
  • The project is currently on schedule.

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

Current situation for Minnesotans
  • While REAL ID requirements for states without federal extensions will begin Jan. 22, Minnesotans do not need to take any action at this time. 
  • Minnesota has an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Minnesota at federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until October 10, 2018.
  • DPS-DVS will provide updates as the availability of REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards approaches.

How can Minnesotans 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.

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. 

Driver and Vehicle Services Highlights
  • DVS 2017:
    • More than 1.6 million driver’s license and ID cards issued
    • More than 1.6 million titles issued 
    • More than 5.4 million vehicles registered
  • DVS’ Public Information Center handled more than 1.2 million phone calls and 110,000 email correspondences.
  • Web-based services include driver’s license status check, registration renewal (tabs), and test scheduling. 

445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov