Governor Mark Dayton last week signed a bill that will finally bring Minnesota into compliance with the federal law known as REAL ID and allow the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to begin the process of making these new IDs available. The new law requires the state to begin issuing REAL ID licenses by Oct. 1, 2018.
Here’s what you need to know as the state moves forward with implementation:
No action required at this time
A REAL ID compliant driver’s license or ID won’t be available until next year, so there is nothing for card holders to do at this time. There is no need to get a new license unless it’s time to renew an expiring license. If a driver’s license expires before October 2018, individuals will renew in the same way they do today.
The current situation
Minnesotans can continue to use their current driver’s license as a form of identification to board domestic flights until January 22, 2018.
Minnesotans who plan to visit federal facilities, nuclear power plants and military bases will need to show an alternative form of ID in addition to their state driver’s license. However, Governor Dayton has requested an extension from the federal government that would allow Minnesota’s current licenses to be used for all federal purposes (planes and federal facilities) until October 2020 when Minnesota is fully in compliance with REAL ID. It’s expected that extension will be approved.
Can I get a REAL ID license before I need to renew my current license?
Yes, once they are available in October 2018, for a small fee of $2.00 – $6.00, depending on how long it is until your next renewal.
What if my license expires before REAL ID is available?
A standard license remains an option and should fall under a federal extension. But the state also offers an “enhanced” license, currently available for an additional $15.00, that can be used for travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries.
Will Real ID licenses be more expensive than standard or non-compliant licenses?
No, the renewal fees will be the same.