ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives has approved legislation allowing Minnesota to repeal the state's prohibition on examining compliance with federal Real ID standards.
"The state law barring researching and studying compliance with Real ID needs to come off the books in order for us to thoroughly investigate our options," Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls said. "Most people agree this needs to happen so we can take a closer look at the issue and decide what is best for Minnesota. Passing this bill doesn't mean we are committed to complying with Real ID, it just allows us to compile information to help us develop an appropriate course of action."
The federal government established the Real ID program as a way to increase security following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Minnesota's current standard ID does not meet Real ID standards being implemented nationwide.
This issue went relatively unnoticed as the first three phases were implemented, applying to access for places such as federal facilities and nuclear power plants. The fourth phase is the one that has gained the most attention, largely because it pertains to boarding domestic commercial flights.
"People want assurance their flight plans will not be disrupted," Nornes said. "They are advised to proceed as usual as the Legislature continues working toward resolution with our IDs. This is an important issue and we need to make sure all the important questions are answered. The big thing to address is concerns over how citizens' private data is used once it is collected."
The Department of Homeland Security has announced that enforcement of new standards to fly in our country will take effect no sooner than Jan. 22, 2018. Extensions can be granted until October of 2020.
The bill now is awaiting action from the Senate before it can be presented to Gov. Mark Dayton for his review. Even upon enactment of this bill, separate language barring Real ID compliance would remain on the state's books.