Minnesota House of Representatives
Public Information Services

Menu

Public Information Services Menu

Working group wrangles over Real ID

By Jonathan Avise
The media and public listen to discussion during a well-attended meeting of the Legislative Working Group on Real ID Compliance Jan 7. Photo by Andrew VonBank

A working group on how to get Minnesota into compliance with ID regulations handed down by the federal government continued the legislative wrangling Thursday over what needs to be done and how fast it can occur.

With the more stringent requirements expected to take effect this year — and Minnesota one of only two U.S. jurisdictions that has not been granted an extension in complying with the rules — the Legislative Working Group on Real ID Compliance met for the first time to explore ways to move Minnesota forward on meeting the higher-security ID regulations.

But the panel’s co-chairs, Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover) and Sen. D. Scott Dibble (DFL-Mpls), expressed different aims during meeting No. 1.

Rep. Peggy Scott

Scott, calling Real ID a top priority, said the group’s focus needs to be squarely on repealing the 2009 state law that prohibits state officials from laying the groundwork to meet the federal Real ID law requirements, and that a special session isn’t necessary before the regular session’s scheduled March 8 start date. Dibble and other DFLers argued that time is of the essence in solving the issue and have urged a special meeting of the Legislature to pass complying legislation.

“The first step is the repeal,” Scott said. “The second step is requesting that extension” from the Department of Homeland Security.

If the state does not come into compliance with the standards, Minnesotans could be unable to board a commercial domestic flight using only their state-issued non-enhanced IDs. That has led to concern and confusion among some would-be travelers, though the federal government has said it will give state officials at least 120 days’ notice before enhanced IDs are required to pass security for domestic flights.

Legislative Working Group on Real ID Compliance

Unenhanced Minnesota IDs already can’t be used alone to enter certain federal facilities.

Despite the Department of Homeland Security’s promised 120-day buffer, Gov. Mark Dayton and House and Senate DFLers have continued their calls to pass the needed fixes.

“We could work on repeal but also solve the problem in an open, logical, reasonable manner rather than kick the can down the road,” said Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul).

What is REAL ID?

The Department of Homeland Security put in place new, more stringent standards for state-issued IDs following the 2005 passage of the Real ID act, including stepped-up applicant documentation requirements, design and security standards on physical IDs and the use of national databases and shared electronic data access among states.

Minnesota was among more than two-dozen states that passed legislation in opposition to the new standards, with some preventing state officials from implementing the federal requirements.

Over the past year the Department of Homeland Security has begun rolling out scheduled enforcement of the Real ID requirements. Minnesota and American Samoa are the lone jurisdictions that have not been granted extensions to meet the new standards. 

Search Session Daily

Priority Dailies

House GOP offers tab fee hike in effort to break transportation deadlock

House Republicans hoped to move toward a transportation compromise Tuesday morning, offering, for...

Recent Dailies

2016 session goes sine die, but will loose ends mean a special session?

The words “sine die” had barely been uttered before legislators started talking special session. ...

No bonding bill after chaotic close to 2016 legislative session

It could be the bonding year that wasn’t. House and Senate lawmakers failed late Sunday to pa...

House, Senate pass $182 million supplemental budget headed to governor

Although few members had read all of the 599 pages of the supplemental budget bill before it appe...

House repasses LCCMR appropriations bill, sends to governor

The House voted 92-40 to adopt the conference committee report and repass HF2993/SF2963* late Sun...

Omnibus state employee retirement bill passes House

Departing member Rep. Joe Atkins (DFL-Inver Grove Heights) had aimed to “go quietly into the nigh...

Railroad crossing requirements pass House as amended

Additional requirements could be coming to utility companies looking to establish facilities alon...

Omnibus tax bill wins overwhelming House support

The first of this session’s major spending bills was passed off the House Floor 123-10 early Sund...

Supplemental budget coming together one piece at a time

UPDATED at 2:16 a.m. In the waning hours of the legislative session, lawmakers are beginning ...

House passes bill to reform substance use disorder treatment system

Minnesotans struggling with substance use could receive better treatment and support under a bill...

Pared-down game and fish bill, as amended, moves on

The House voted 80-44 to pass HF2845/SF2759* Saturday, amending a bill that deals with penalties ...

Omnibus tax bill ready to return to the House Floor

House and Senate conferees approved the report on the agreed provisions in the omnibus tax bill, ...

Public Information Services  ·   175 State Office Building, Saint Paul, MN 55155   ·   Public.Information@house.mn