REAL ID ready?

Plan ahead of Oct. 1, 2021, deadline
Star Herald Editorial

The federal REAL ID full enforcement deadline is less than eight months away, and Minnesotans need to know their options so they’re prepared on Oct. 1, 2021.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, Minnesotans will not be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities.

Instead, they will need one of three options: a passport or passport card, a REAL ID, or an enhanced driver’s license or ID.

Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said Minnesotans who already have a passport or passport card have what they need to fly or enter federal facilities now and after Oct. 1, 2021.

“Those who don’t plan on flying this year may choose to wait and apply for a REAL ID at a later time,” she said.

“The important thing to know is there are options, and we want to make sure Minnesotans are informed and prepared.”


Apply for a REAL ID

Minnesotans may apply for a REAL ID when they renew their license or ID card or apply for a REAL ID early for an additional fee. 

Those who choose to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card are strongly encouraged to pre-apply online at before completing the application process in person at a DVS exam station, deputy registrar or driver’s license office. 

Federal and Minnesota laws require a person to submit their original required documents, pass a vision screening and have a new photo taken to complete their application.

Pre-applying online at is the best way to make sure applicants have everything they need before they visit a driver’s license office.

 This feature allows Minnesotans to enter a significant portion of their application online, reducing the time they spend in the office.

It also lists the required documents for each license type so applicants can have all necessary documents ready when they visit their local office.


REAL ID required documents

Minnesotans are required to provide additional documentation when applying for a REAL ID, compared to a standard driver’s license or ID card.

A person must provide the following in person when applying:

•One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States. (If the name on the identity document is not the same as a person's current name, a name change document must be submitted.)

•One document proving social security number. (If you have not updated your name change with the Social Security Administration, you must do so prior to applying for a Real ID.)

•Two different documents proving current residency in Minnesota. (Must have applicant’s current legal name and current address in Minnesota. A P.O. Box will not suffice as proof of current residency in Minnesota.)

Applicants must provide original documents or documents certified by the agency that issued them.

DPS-DVS cannot accept laminated documents or digital documents shown on your phone or other electronic device. A full list of accepted documentation is on the REAL ID website.

DPS-DVS has a variety of resources online at


What is the federal REAL ID Act?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards.

The Act refers to federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations that control access to federally regulated commercial aircraft and federal facilities requiring identification to enter, such as military bases or nuclear power facilities.

Comment Here