ST. PAUL – Minnesota is now closer to meeting federal guidelines that will allow residents to board an airplane in 2018, as the Minnesota House of Representatives has approved legislation taking the first step towards complying with REAL-ID standards.
State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg), who is serving on the Minnesota Legislature's REAL ID working group, voted in favor of the measure.
"Based on our past history, bringing REAL ID to Minnesota is not a process that is going to take place overnight," Miller said. "But it was important to allow that process to begin, which is something that cannot happen without this bill."
Miller said the approved legislation partially repeals the 2009 ban on REAL ID implementation, allowing the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to study REAL ID and issue a report to the legislature detailing steps needed for implementation, costs, and other necessary legislative changes.
The federal government has given Minnesota until 2018 to comply with the REAL-ID law, so while no one is in danger of being left off of an airplane in the near future, Miller said it is important to find a workable, bipartisan solution to this issue.
"Minnesotans can be confident that we will solve this problem," Miller said. "I'm going to be working hard to ensure that we protect your privacy while making certain you have the ability travel on an airplane in two years."
Miller expects another REAL-ID bill that addresses actual program implementation to be debated in the coming weeks.