Greetings as we begin the new year. January 9 was National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. We set aside that special day to thank and recognize the selfless dedication of our men and women in law enforcement.
We especially hold Officer Matson of Waseca, MN and his family in our prayers for a speedy recovery. His recent serious injury in the line of duty is a reminder of the courageous effort the men and women in law enforcement put forward in their unwavering effort to keep us safe.
Looking ahead into the new year please consider that federal security standards for air travel within the United States will require Real ID compliant identification.
Beginning Oct. 1 of this year all air travelers 18 years of age or older will need a Real ID or enhanced driver’s license, or a current passport or passport card, or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States or to enter federal facilities.
A recent check with DMV indicates that fewer than 10 percent of Minnesotans currently possess a Minnesota Real ID or enhanced driver’s license. There is a several-week turn around to replace your current license or ID card.
If you plan to use air travel after Oct. 1, a regular driver’s license or ID card will not be acceptable for boarding aircraft. Now is the time apply to beat the rush, sparing yourself potential headaches this summer/fall.
If you elect not to get a Real ID compliant license or ID, a current passport or passport card is another form of ID that will be acceptable to board domestic flights.
There are additional documents needed to obtain a Real ID driver’s license, enhanced driver’s license or a state Real ID card. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety website has information detailing the 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 by the U.S. Congress as a result of the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The program is being phased in over several years. Minnesota Real ID compliant licenses and IDs became available last year. With only 10 percent of Minnesotan’s having made the change, now is the time to beat the rush that will surely occur just prior to Oct. 1.