Minnesota gets one Real ID extension, but will need another soon

Minnesota has lagged behind other states in complying with the 2005 Real ID Act, which was written following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The notice of the latest extension to comply does not change very much for state residents anxious their state-issued identification will not be accepted at airports and other federal security sites.

The Standard Driver License cannot be used for federal purposes, meaning TSA agents will not accept the license as ID on any flight, domestic or foreign, nor can it be used to enter a federal facility. They have pushed back against this law for years.

The state's deadline for compliance was extended from Tuesday to January 22, the Maine Secretary of State's Office said in a press release Tuesday.

The Real ID Act set national standards to improve the security of state-issued identification to prevent undocumented immigrants and terrorists from obtaining US driver's licenses.

But many states balked at what they saw as federal overreach. One of those cards is called a REAL ID, because it was created by Congress under the REAL ID Act of 2005.

After pushback from Homeland Security last October, the Legislature in April passed a bill - LD 306 - to grant the Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap the authority to bring the state into compliance. The new system must be fully functional by July 1, 2019, according to the new state law.

"The bottom line is you can use your current Minnesota driver's license to board an airplane for a domestic flight or to enter a federal facility. The difference being, that that document would also be available to someone who has a foreign passport, and verification of lawful status in the United States".

States can continue to request waivers from compliance until 2020.

Vanessa Coleman

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