ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton asked the federal government for more time to comply with new standards for driver’s licenses on Friday, aiming to ensure Minnesota residents aren’t turned away when stronger requirements are imposed for domestic flights.
Minnesota hasn’t upgraded its licenses to meet the requirements of the Real ID Act, national ID standards passed in 2005. It’s raised concern that Minnesota residents may need an extra form of ID to board a domestic flight — the state’s standard driver’s licenses don’t cut it under the federal law — as soon as next year.
Dayton sent a letter Friday to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson requesting an extension, citing a need to reverse a state law passed in 2009 banning Minnesota from complying with the federal standards. The Legislature doesn’t return until early March.
It’s unclear when the federal government will require the compliant IDs for commercial flights. It could happen as soon as Jan. 1, but department officials indicated this fall that they’d give states additional time. Minnesota is one of four states that haven’t begun implementing the law.
Homeland Security spokeswoman Amanda DeGroff said the department will review the request in the coming days and will grant an extension when warranted. During a September meeting in St. Paul, department officials told state lawmakers that they don’t grant extensions unless a state is taking steps to comply with the law.
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