MINNEAPOLIS — Beginning October 1, 2020, your standard Minnesota driver's license will no longer work for boarding domestic flights.
That's the date the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's full REAL ID enforcement goes into effect. REAL ID is a post-9/11 initiative, intended to make it harder for IDs to be fraudulently duplicated.
It's been talked about frequently, but Minnesotans don't seem to be rushing to the DVS to get in compliance.
"There is only about ten percent of Minnesotans that are REAL ID ready today," Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said during a press conference Wednesday. "That means we have a lot of work and a lot of ground to cover."
Officials say some of the approximately 90-percent of Minnesotans who have not applied for REAL ID may be people who plan on using their valid passports instead.
The REAL ID requirements can be confusing, so here are the nuts and bolts:
Do I need to get a REAL ID?
Short answer - no. It's not required. A standard Minnesota driver's license will still work for driving and for other cases in which you need a legal ID. But if you don't have a REAL ID, you're 18 or older, and you want to board a domestic flight - beginning October 1, 2020, you'll need a valid passport, active duty military ID, or any of the other documents listed here.
What are my options for REAL ID compliant IDs?
- A legal passport
- Minnesota's enhanced driver's license or ID card: It costs an additional $15 when applying. In addition to letting you board domestic flights, you can also use this form of ID to cross the U.S. border with Canada and Mexico by land or sea. Want to fly to Canada or Mexico? Then this type of ID doesn't work.
- Minnesota's REAL ID compliant driver's license or ID card: It costs the same as the standard Minnesota driver's license. You can't use it to cross any borders, but it will get you on a domestic flight.
How do I apply?
You can apply in person at your local DVS location. However, to get a REAL ID, you'll need more documents than you would for your standard driver's license.
A full list of what you need for REAL ID, can be found here. But here's a breakdown:
- ONE document which proves your identity, birth date, and legal US status. There are quite a few options listed at the link above, but for most people that's a valid passport or your birth certificate.
- Proof of your social security number: The most common documents accepted include a social security card or W2.
- TWO separate documents which prove your residence: They must have your name and current address. Examples include a valid driver's license, utility bill, or bank statement.
And the people at the DVS really want you to fill out this pre-application online to sort everything out before you get to their counter.
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