Minnesotans with soon-to-expire driver’s licenses would get some extra time to renew under a transportation policy package passed Saturday in the House.
The omnibus transportation policy bill, HF462, would extend a driver’s license and state identification card expiration enacted in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, broadening that extension to include licenses and ID’s that would expire in the month that follows the last month of a public health emergency period declared by the governor.
HF462 would also waive a requirement to take a new photograph and complete a vision test if a driver’s license applicant’s name, address, signature, or driver’s license number hasn’t changed, and they aren't seeking a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license.
Sponsored by Rep. Frank Hornstein (DFL-Mpls) the bill was passed 131-2, as amended by the Senate, during Saturday’s lengthy floor session. It now goes to Gov. Tim Walz for his signature.
The bill “move(s) the needle forward for people in the transportation arena,” Hornstein said. It was passed 67-0 a day earlier in the Senate, where Sen. Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) is the sponsor, after that body adopted a delete-all amendment that inserted the language of SF3522. The House companion to that bill had been HF976, which the House Transportation Finance and Policy Division approved 18-0 on April 30.
Other provisions among the nearly two-dozen measures with bipartisan support in HF462 include those that would:
No transit safety measures
One key transportation policy piece didn’t make the bill — it contains no measures targeted at stemming an increase of crime on Metro Transit trains and buses, a point of emphasis for lawmakers this session on both sides of the aisle.
Hornstein said House and Senate leaders had been unable to reach agreement in time to include transit safety provisions in HF462. He said the two sides “are pretty close” and would continue to discuss the issue.