By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With the new year coming soon, WCCO has heard from viewers about the status of REAL ID.  When does it go into effect? When will you need a new license? What does it mean if you already have an enhanced driver’s license? Good Questions.

“Right now, you don’t need to do anything,” says Rep. Dennis Smith (R – Maple Grove), author of Minnesota’s REAL ID law. “Once the state is able to produce REAL IDs, then you need to a get a REAL ID between October of 2018 and October of 2020.”

There are two important dates to know:

October 2018 – Minnesota is required to start producing REAL IDs. At time, a Minnesotan should be able to apply for a REAL ID at any one of Minnesota’s 175 DMV offices.

October 2020 – The federal government requires a REAL ID, Enhanced DL/ID or passport to board a domestic flight. Until, then, a traditional driver’s license will be sufficient for travel within the U.S.

There are about a dozen documents that can be used for apply for the REAL ID. The most common will be a Social Security card, birth certificate and expired driver’s license. All three would be required.

As for Minnesotans who already have an Enhanced DL/ID — that form of identification will allow you to board a plane in the U.S. once REAL ID goes into effect in October 2020.  That ID will also allow people to still cross in Mexico and Canada by land or sea, but it will not allow people entry into federal buildings or military bases. Only a REAL ID will allow access to federal buildings or military bases after October 2020.

As for people who may have to renew their license shortly before REAL ID becomes available, Rep. Smith says the state will offer those people a second renewal at a low cost.

Ultimately, people will have a choice of three types of driver’s licenses in October 2018: An Enhanced DL, a REAL ID and a traditional driver’s license. Depending on how often a person flies, cross the Canadian or Mexican border or visit federal or military buildings, each person’s choice of which license to get will differ.

Heather Brown

  1. Maybe the whole thing is purposely a mess so the process doesn’t turn up Vote Fraud and fake ID’s — like that story a few years ago when they found people with more than one ID. And that Secretary of State Staffer who had more than one ID and collecting social beneifs.