Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed REAL ID legislation into law recently, ensuring that Minnesota will comply with federal regulations and that airplane passengers will be able to continue flying using their state-issued driver’s license.
The passage of a bill by both the Minnesota House and Senate this legislative session followed years of debate over the new IDs.
Leaders from the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) had urged action on the topic, noting the economic impact Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has on the region.
“Easy access to air travel is vital to Minnesota’s economy, so it was crucial that state lawmakers pass legislation this session to bring the state in compliance with federal regulations,” said Brian Ryks, executive director and CEO of the MAC. “We’re grateful lawmakers were able to work together and make this happen for the residents and businesses of Minnesota.”
Gov. Dayton said he was very pleased with the legislation, “which will allow Minnesotans to continue to board airplanes, and access federal facilities, with a compliant driver’s license.”
Minnesota’s action follows a federal REAL ID law passed in 2005, which aims to prevent acts of terror and make identity fraud more difficult.
Minnesota’s REAL ID-compliant cards will have security features intended to prevent tampering. The cards will also present data in a common, machine-readable format, such as a bar code.
The law requires the Department of Public Safety to make REAL ID-compliant licenses available by Oct. 1, 2018. Once available, residents will be allowed to renew their licenses even if they are not yet up for renewal.