While more Minnesotans are now REAL ID ready, there are about 3.7 million Minnesota license holders who will need to decide if they need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of identification before the federal deadline of Oct. 1, 2020.

Approximately 10.72 percent of Minnesota driver’s license and identification card holders have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card. That’s up two percent since Nov. 1, 2019.

The federal REAL ID Act full enforcement deadline of Oct. 1, 2020 is less than nine months away. As of that date, Minnesotans will not be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.

Instead, they will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification for federal purposes.

“This is good progress, but there are still many Minnesotans who will need a REAL ID come Oct. 1, 2020,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said. “Don’t wait. If you want a REAL ID to fly later this year, apply for one now, and make sure you have everything you need before you visit an office.”

In the last month, nearly 47,000 Minnesotans applied for a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or ID card or an enhanced driver’s license or ID card. As of Jan. 2, there are a total of:

• 274,817 Minnesota REAL ID driver’s license and ID card holders.

• 230,494 Minnesota enhanced driver’s license and ID card holders.

• 4,207,202 Minnesota standard driver’s license and ID card holders.

That brings the total number of Minnesotans who are REAL ID ready to 505,311, or 10.72 percent of Minnesota driver’s license and identification card holders. That is up from:

• 9.72 percent as of Nov. 27, 2019.

• 8.91 percent Nov. 1, 2019.

• 7.8 percent Sept. 27, 2019.

The best way to make sure applicants for a REAL ID or other license types have everything they need before they visit a driver’s license office is to pre-apply online at drive.mn.gov. This feature allows Minnesotans to enter a significant portion of their application online, reducing the time they spend in the office.

It also lists the required documents for each license type, so applicants can have all necessary documents ready when they visit their local office. Minnesotans are required to provide additional documentation when they are applying for a REAL ID, compared to a standard driver’s license or ID card. A person must provide the following information in person when applying:

• One document proving their identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States. If the name on the identity document is not the same as a person’s current name, a name change document must be submitted.

• One document proving social security number. If you have not updated your name change with the Social Security Administration, you must do so prior to applying for a Real ID.

• Two different documents proving current residency in Minnesota. The documents must have applicant’s current legal name and current address in Minnesota. A P.O. Box will not suffice as proof of current residency in Minnesota.

Applicants must provide original documents or documents certified by the agency that issued them. Laminated documents will not be accepted. Digital documents shown on your phone or other electronic device will also not be accepted. A full list of accepted documentation is online.

Any eligible Minnesotan can apply for a REAL ID now, but there is a fee in addition to the standard cost of the license or ID card. It depends on how early one renews. When renewing early, four years will be added to the license or ID card’s original expiration date, so while an early renewal will cost a little more, the license or ID card will be valid for a longer period of time.

The early renewal option is only for those who renewed their Minnesota driver’s license or ID card before REAL IDs were available Oct. 1, 2018. Their licenses must also expire after the full enforcement date of Oct. 1, 2020.

More information can be found at dps.mn.gov.

- Image courtesy of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Web site