Editorial: Clock is ticking to pass Real ID law in Minnesota

Published 9:35 am Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Real ID bill that has divided lawmakers is slated to come before the House for a vote today as the deadline for implementation draws closer.

Minnesota is one of five states that the Department of Homeland Security considers not yet in compliance with the law, which goes into effect January 2018. Passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the law sets minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards and prohibits federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards.

Starting Jan. 22, 2018, travelers who do not have a license or identification card from a compliant state or a state that has been granted an extension will be asked to provide alternate acceptable identification. If you cannot provide an acceptable form of identification, you will not be permitted through security checkpoints.

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Beginning Oct. 1, 2020, every traveler will need a REAL ID-compliant license, state ID or another acceptable form of identification to fly within the country.

The law is already being enforced when it comes to federal facilities and secure sites.

Though some people find Real ID to be invasive and costly, we believe it is important to move forward with bipartisan support.

Soon enough, January will arrive, and then what will Minnesotans do if the law is not in place?

According to the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, businesses have already had problems incur because the state is not in compliance with this law.

We encourage the Legislature to consider the bill approved in the initial Senate committee hearings that has worked to bring compromise to the table. That bill ended with a unanimous vote in favor. That bill comes before the Senate Finance Committee today before going to the Senate floor for a full vote.