With a year to go, 90 percent of Minnesotans lack Real ID

People waited in the lobby of the state Driver and Vehicle Services.
People waited in the lobby of the state Driver and Vehicle Services office in downtown St. Paul on Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, as clerks at the office counter started taking applications for new drivers licenses that meet federal REAL ID requirements.
Tim Nelson | MPR News file

Minnesotans have one year left to get a Real ID-compliant driver’s license before federal enforcement begins at airports.

Adults will need the security-enhanced, Real ID license or other acceptable documents by Oct. 1, 2020 to board domestic flights.

State and federal officials highlighted the coming deadline during a news conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Wednesday.

Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said only about 10 percent of Minnesotans have Real IDs.

“We’re going to make sure that Minnesotans know what they need to do in order to get that Real ID, because we want all Minnesotans to have the required identification to board an airplane next year,” he said.

Minnesota was well behind other states in embracing the federal Real ID law, which was enacted in 2005. State lawmakers didn’t pass a compliance plan until 2017.

“There’s a huge number of you and me, your families, our communities that are not even aware of what Real ID means,” said Emma Corrie, the director of Driver and Vehicle Services at the state Department of Public Safety. “We’ve got to change that. As partners, we are going to change. We’re going to be in your communities. Our counters are going to be putting that information out.”

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