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Minnesotans face Real ID license options as deadline approaches

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A man swipes an ID Card through an electronic reader.
A driver's license is scanned as caucus attendees check-in at Rutherford Elementary School in Stillwater, Minn. After Oct. 1, Real ID licenses or cards will be needed at airport security checkpoints and for certain federal facilities.
Jeffrey Thompson | MPR News 2012

Updated: 3:37 p.m.

With only about 11 percent of state identification cards in compliance with new federal standards, officials are again reminding Minnesotans that the Oct. 1 Real ID deadline isn’t that far off.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety estimates 3.7 million people will need to decide how they’ll meet the new standards if they want to get on a domestic flight.

After Oct. 1, Real ID licenses or cards will be needed at airport security checkpoints and for certain federal facilities. Minnesotans who still have a standard driver's license can also use a passport.

“If you want to get on a plane and you want to use your driver's license as the form of ID at the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) checkpoint, you'll need either a Real ID or an enhanced driver's license or a passport or a passport card,” said Bruce Gordon, spokesperson for the Public Safety Department.

Outside of a star emblem printed on the card, Real ID licenses are no different in appearance or material than a standard driver’s license. The difference lies in the documentation needed to issue the identification.

To apply for a Real ID, you’ll need a document that proves identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States, a document proving your Social Security number, and two documents proving your current residence in Minnesota. If you’ve ever had a legal name change, you’ll need to provide documentation that proves that as well.

Laminated documents or digital document copies won’t be accepted.

You can find out more and start a pre-application by visiting the department’s website.