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Officials urge Minnesotans to get ahead of 2020 REAL ID requirement to fly

ST. PAUL — Minnesotans should start taking steps to get new identification cards with REAL ID, state and federal public safety officials said on Wednesday, Sept. 25.

The push to educate the state comes a little more than a year before the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is set to enforce a new federal standard requiring adults to hold a REAL ID card or driver's license to board commercial airline flights.

The new identification cards are set to cost the same as other driver's license or identification cards and they are optional. So far, less than 10% of Minnesotans with driver's licenses or ID cards had the REAL ID-compliant cards.

Minnesotans that apply for the REAL ID cards before their current driver's license or identification cards will face fees ranging from $2-$6 depending on the existing card's expiration date.

"REAL ID ready needs to happen by Oct. 1, 2020," Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said. "And you're going to hear a lot from us because we want to make sure Minnesotans are REAL ID ready."

Officials urged those applying for new identification cards to complete pre-application materials online before traveling to the and allow extra time at the driver's license office.

"Be prepared to wait longer," deputy registrar Gaye Smith said. "It takes longer to help every person who needs a REAL ID."

What will I need to fly domestically?

Adults 18 and older will be required to show a REAL ID card, an enhanced driver’s license or ID card, a passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification as determined by the TSA. Existing driver's licenses and identification cards will still be accepted for operating a motor vehicle, voting, entering federal facilities, applying for federal benefits, accessing hospitals, courthouses or other facilities or participating in law enforcement proceedings.

What do I need to obtain a REAL ID card?

Minnesotans applying for the REAL ID will need several documents to obtain their REAL ID cards. And state officials noted they will not accept laminated copies of documents or digital copies on a cell phone or other device.

Applicants will need one document that proves their identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States, a document proving their social security number, and two documents proving a person's residency in Minnesota.

How long will it take to get the new ID?

Wait times for getting the REAL-ID-compliant cards through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Service Division vary, but state officials on Wednesday were processing applications submitted about a month prior. State officials recommended that Minnesotans planning to travel next fall apply early.

Where can I get more information?

You can get additional details about the new requirement and how to apply for a REAL ID at REALID.dps.mn.gov.

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