The Real ID deadline has been extended. Here’s what Minnesotans need to know

Published 1:21 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

By MPR News staff and Amy Felegy

Minnesota travelers have more time to upgrade identification for airport checkpoints and other federal facilities.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has delayed enforcement of its Real ID standard until May 2025; standard driver’s licenses or ID cards will no longer grant access thereafter. The switch was originally due to take hold next May.

Email newsletter signup

Minnesota was one of the last states to start issuing security-enhanced ID cards and driver’s licenses. Applicants for them must do more to prove their identity, including showing up in person.

You can pre-apply on the DPS website to expedite the process and make sure you have all the documents they need. After pre-applying, you can go to one of the DVS offices that provide Real ID services to finish up the process. Find out more by visiting the DPS website.

You’ll need one proof of identity, date of birth and legal presence document; one proof of social security number document; and two proof of current Minnesota residency documents.

If you don’t secure a Real ID, you can still use an enhanced driver’s license or ID card or another federally approved identification like a passport or tribal-issued photo ID.

As of last week, about 30 percent of all cards issued by the state were Real IDs. Passports are an accepted alternative once the heightened ID standard is in full effect.

How do I know what kind of ID I have?

You can verify which type online at drive.mn.gov:

Minnesota’s Real ID driver’s licenses and ID cards have a star printed on them.

Enhanced licenses and cards show a U.S. flag along with the text: “Enhanced Driver’s License” or “Enhanced Identification Card.” Cards issued after Jan. 1, 2021 also display the star.

Standard licenses and cards read: “Not for Federal Identification.”