ST. PAUL – The deadline to comply with new federal ID standards arrives later this year and Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, encourages people to sign up now and beat the rush.
Starting Oct. 1, every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need a Real ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID, passport or passport card, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or enter federal facilities.
Reports show fewer than 10 percent of Minnesotans currently are compliant with the new ID standards and it is still taking several weeks for the state to turn around applications. Swedzinski said the pressures on turnaround time could intensify in coming months as more people get in line.
“We all saw the headaches people encountered with the failed launch of MNLARS for vehicle registration,” Swedzinski said. “That should be enough reason for people to want to apply for their Real ID now instead of waiting until closer to the October deadline when backlogs could occur, especially with so few Minnesotans having completed the process at this time. It’s just better to get on it now and avoid headaches that potentially could arise.”
There are additional documents needed to obtain a Real ID driver’s license or enhanced driver’s License or state ID card. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety website has information detailing the requirements and documents needed. DPS also has a pre-application online page to help speed up the process for processing an application for the Real ID.
The federal Real ID program was created in the wake of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Congress raised ID standards in 2005, phased in over a number of years, with the stated goal of protecting our nation. While Minnesota’s current standard IDs do not meet the heightened federal standards, legislation enacted in 2017 allows the state to come into compliance this year.