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Rep. Green: Get a Real ID now and spare headaches later

Thursday, January 9, 2020

 

ST. PAUL – The deadline to comply with new federal ID standards arrives later this year and Rep. Steve Green, R-Fosston, 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. Green said the pressures on turnaround time could intensify in coming months as more people get in line.

“I’ve never been a big supporter of the Real ID program, but it’s something that needed to be done in Minnesota to compensate for a lack of action on border security at the federal level,” Green said. “We need to make the best of the hand that’s been dealt and people who want to sign up for Real ID should do so now to avoid hassles as the deadline approaches. You can skip getting a Real ID if you so choose but, come October, standard IDs no longer will be adequate for boarding a plane so you will have to use a passport or enhanced ID even for domestic flights.”

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.

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