News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend, 

As the leaves and the temperature continue to fall, I am enjoying my time in our beautiful state. I have had a great few weeks at home in Minnesota’s Sixth District, and I look forward to my upcoming travels around the district over the coming weeks. 

While I continue my travels throughout the district, and through conversations with my district staff, a recurring question was posed: Will I be able to travel with my Minnesota license? As the REAL ID change has been taking effect throughout the country, many Minnesotans have been left uncertain if their current license would be sufficient for domestic travel. 

What is REAL ID? 

The federal government was set to enforce the 2005 Real ID law in January of 2018. The 2005 Real ID Act was a law passed that modifies U.S. federal law as it relates to security, authentication, and procedure standards for state driver's licenses and identity documents, including various immigration issues pertaining to terrorism. Essentially, it changed the federal standards for state-issued driver's licenses and non-driver identification cards, leaving each state to work to become compliant with federal standards.

Currently, Minnesota has an extension for REAL ID enforcement, allowing Federal agencies to accept driver's licenses and identification cards from Minnesota at Federal facilities, nuclear power plants and federally regulated commercial aircraft until March 1, 2019.

For more information, read "Ask A Trooper: Real ID what is it?” by clicking here. For information on what you need to apply for a REAL ID, click here

Can I apply for a REAL ID in Minnesota now? 

Minnesota began issuing REAL ID compliant state licenses this month, October 2018. Apply here

For information on what you need to apply for a REAL ID, click here.

How much does this cost? 

If your current drivers license is not expired, you can pay $2 for a renewal up to 17 months before expiration, $4 for a renewal 18-29 months before expiration or $6 for a renewal more than 29 months before expiration.

Is it mandatory to acquire a REAL ID compliant ID? 

The federal compliant REAL ID driver license or ID card is optional. If you have a valid U.S. passport or U.S. passport card, military ID, or other federally approved identification, you may use those as your form of identification to board a domestic flight or enter certain federal facilities. 

Will I be able to travel without a REAL ID? 

Minnesotans will be able to use their standard driver's license or identification cards for federal purposes until March 1, 2019. After that date, a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card or another acceptable form of identification will be required to board a domestic flight or enter a federal facility. If you do not wish to upgrade to the REAL ID, you may use an enhanced drivers license, a valid U.S. passport, and other acceptable forms of identification for commercial flights as listed on the TSA's website.

For any questions on becoming REAL ID compliant, my office is always happy to assist you with finding the resources you need! Call my district office, or stop by for a visit. 

To keep up with what we’re doing in Washington, follow me on Twitter and Facebook!


Additional Resources:

Visit Minnesota’s Driver & Vehicle Services website for FAQ’s, and to find out more about your options, here

Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website for FAQ’s, here

Find Frequently Asked Questions on State Implementationhere

Read more about Minnesota’s extension, and what it means for the future, here

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