ST. PAUL – The Minnesota House of Representatives on Thursday approved legislation which would allow Minnesotans to receive an ID which complies with increased federal safety standards for purposes such as boarding commercial flights.
Without a change in state law, Minnesota driver’s licenses will not be acceptable for boarding planes after January of 2018. Minnesota is one of only a few states which remains out of compliance with the enhanced federal safety standards that would make Minnesota drivers licenses more difficult to falsify.
The House’s proposal (H.F. 3) provides Minnesotans the option of receiving a federally compliant Real ID driver’s license. Citizens would also be able to choose to continue to renew their current, non-complaint license if they want to. However, those non-compliant Minnesota driver's licenses will not be accepted by TSA for the purposes of boarding an aircraft after January of 2018.
“This is a public safety concern,” said Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin. “Minnesota is one of only four states that has failed to effectively move on compliance with increased federal identification standards for boarding aircraft. As a co-author of this bill, I have worked hard to reach a compromise with those that have opposed adopting the federal standards. I am pleased to see we are finally moving forward on this very important public safety issue.”
Real ID is a federal law passed in 2005 as one of the enhanced safety measures to prevent another 9/11 tragedy. The Real ID standards aim to make it more difficult for potential terrorists to obtain false identification that could be used to board commercial aircraft. Most federal facilities – including most military bases – already have adopted the federal Real ID card standards for entry onto their premises. If your driver’s license is not Real ID-compliant, then other forms of ID, such as a valid U.S. passport, is required for entry on most military bases and other federal facilities.
The Senate version of the bill (S.F. 166) is making its way through the committee process.