REAL ID-compliant cards are optional once available

- REAL ID-compliant cards will not be available in Minnesota until October, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. 

Minnesotans whose driver’s licenses or identification cards expire before October should renew their cards as they usually would. They will be able to apply for a REAL ID once they are available in October. 

Come October, anyone who chooses to apply for a REAL ID before their standard license expires will be charged an early renewal fee and an additional four years will be added to the expiration date. 

REAL ID cards cost the same amount as standard driver’s licenses ($25.25) and identification cards ($19.25). 

Early renewal fees are based on how many months early REAL ID is obtained before a person’s driver’s license or ID card expires. Anyone renewing their ID 17 months before expiration will be charged $2. Those renewing their ID 18-29 months in advance will be charged $4 and anyone that chooses to renew their ID 29 months before expiration will be charged $6. 

Standard Minnesota driver’s licenses and ID cards will continue to be valid forms of identification after Oct. 10, 2018, however they will no longer be accepted for domestic air travel or to have access to federal facilities. Another form of identification, like a passport or an Enhanced Driver’s License will be required for air travel and to access federal facilities. 

When REAL ID compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards become available in Minnesota in October, they will be accepted forms of identification for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities. 

Minnesota is the last state to meet the stricter federal ID standards. After two years of fighting about state’s rights, privacy and drivers’ licenses for undocumented workers, lawmakers finally reached a deal last May to get the state in compliance.

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