ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation which would allow Minnesotans to obtain an ID which complies with increased federal standards for such purposes as boarding commercial flights.
Without a change in state law, standard Minnesota driver’s licenses will no longer be acceptable for boarding planes as soon as January of 2018. Minnesota is one of only a few states which remains out of compliance with the new standards.
The House’s proposal (H.F. 3) features a two-path approach which allows people who want a Real ID to receive one, while also providing citizens the ability to abstain.
“It has been a long process to get to this point, and for good reason,” said Rep. Bud Nornes, R-Fergus Falls. “This is a bill which illustrates exactly why the Legislature is so deliberate. The solution we arrived upon accommodates those who want a Real ID to get one, while also providing the people who would rather not participate the option of continuing to use the current version of our state ID.”
Real ID is a federal law passed in 2005 with the goal to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain fake identification cards by setting standards that states must meet for their driver’s licenses. Some federal facilities, including military bases, have already began to require those without compliant licenses to provide passports or other documentation in order to be admitted.
The House passed the bill 72-58. The Senate version (S.F. 166) is making its way through the committee process.