REAL ID deadline one year away

Published: Oct. 1, 2019 at 3:50 PM CDT
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The clock is ticking in Minnesota for those who need what's called a REAL ID. You'll need one to board a commercial flight and you need to have it by this time next year.

South Dakota already has its REAL ID system in place. Minnesota is one of the last states to enact the program.

If you live in Minnesota you have a year to make sure you're in the system, but the state is advising you to take care of this sooner rather than later.

Thousands of people fly from the Minneapolis airport every day, but those people could be stopped in their tracks 365 days from now if they don't get a REAL ID.

"People have to prove who they are and they live where they say they live," David Wrigg said with the Luverne, Minnesota Driver’s License Department.

"Our hope is that no one shows up for a domestic flight a year from now and they'll have to be turned away by TSA because they don't have the right kind of identification," Chief Operating Officer Roy Fuhrman said with the Metropolitan Airports Commission.

The REAL ID Act was enacted 14 years ago by the federal government as a way to improve security following the September 11 attacks.

"When people come in they have three options in Minnesota. They can still choose to be non-compliant so they'll now get a driver's license that says ‘not for federal identification purposes.’ They can choose to be REAL ID-compliant which puts the gold star on their driver's license and then Minnesota also has a third option of an enhanced driver's license," Wrigg said.

To get a REAL ID you'll need to provide an official form of identification such as a birth certificate or social security card. In addition, you’ll need two different documents proving current residency.

"If you're planning to travel next October that means you've got 12 months! Don’t wait until September and be counting down the days to make sure you didn't miss a day somewhere in the process," Commissioner John Harrington said with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

"We do give them sheets when they come here to kind of specifically say what we all need," Wrigg said.

Right now less than 10 percent of Minnesotans have a REAL ID.

"I would say probably a year from now we're guessing we're going to have somebody come in our office very mad that they couldn't fly because they didn't have a REAL ID," Wrigg said.

If you already have your current ID or any other federal ID such as a passport you can show those at security together to allow you to fly without having a REAL ID.

In addition to Minnesota, Iowa is also working under the same deadline to have its REAL ID program up and running.