by Scott McClallen
Minnesota and other U.S. residents may be grounded if they try to fly after Oct. 1, 2020, without updating to a REAL ID-compliant form of identification, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).
“We want all Minnesotans to have the required identification to board an airplane next year,” DPS Commissioner John Harrington said in a news release. “Less than 10 percent of all Minnesota driver’s license and ID card-holders have a REAL ID-compliant card right now. We know there are people in this state who will need a REAL ID and don’t have one yet. We want to reach those people and make sure they know exactly what they need to do to get a REAL ID-compliant card.”
Congress passed the REAL ID act in 2005 in response to the 9/11 attack in hopes of deterring future air terrorism by requiring stricter identification to enter federally-regulated airplanes and federal facilities such as military bases.
Every air traveler 18 years of age or older will need identification that is REAL ID-compliant, including enhanced driver’s licenses or IDs, passports, or passport cards or other identification.
After Oct. 1, 2020, travelers age 18 or older who are flying alone require REAL-ID-compliant identification. Children traveling with an adult can board an airplane only if the adult has a REAL ID.
The following are required to apply for a REAL ID:
• Two different documents proving current residency in Minnesota. A post office box does not prove current Minnesota residency.
• If your name differs from what is on your birth certificate, bring certified documents, such as marriage licenses, divorce decrees, or court orders for every time your name has changed.
• Your certified birth certificate with a raised seal or stamp issued by a governmental agency; your valid, unexpired U.S. passport; or an approved citizenship or legal presence document. No faxes, photocopies, laminated documents, or digital documents will be accepted.
• One document proving Social Security number.
REAL ID-compliant identification includes State Enhanced Driver’s Licenses, Enhanced ID cards, passports, and trusted traveler cards.
“REAL ID is a coordinated effort by the federal government to improve the accuracy of driver’s licenses and will greatly improve aviation security,” Minnesota TSA Federal Security Director Cliff Van Leuven said in a news release. “We highly recommend that Minnesotans who plan to travel by air upgrade their standard driver’s license to a REAL ID or enhanced license before the deadline.”
Minnesotans applying for a REAL ID can expect the following fees in addition to the standard cost.
• $2 for a renewal up to 17 months before expiration.
• $4 for a renewal 18-29 months before expiration.
• $6 for a renewal more than 29 months before expiration.
Those who renew licenses early will add four years to the card’s original expiration date.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important the October 2020 deadline is for Minnesotans who fly for work or pleasure,” CEO of the Metropolitan Airports Commission Brian Ryks said in a press release. “Our hope is that no one who shows up for a flight a year from now will have to be turned away because they don’t have the right kind of identification.
One must have an enhanced driver’s license or passport, which have RFID chips, to enter Canada or Mexico.
Minnesota residents can schedule an appointment online to get a REAL ID at any Secretary of State office.
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Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.
Photo “Minnesota Driver License” by Minnesota DVS.