Minn. legislation easing REAL ID requirement advances

A bill expanding the list of documents Minnesotans can bring to prove state residency on a REAL ID application has passed the Senate Finance committee and heads to the Senate floor amid concerns Minnesota won't be ready for the Oct. 1 deadline.

Under the legislation, utility bills or bank info less than a year old would qualify, instead of ones sent within the past 90 days. Any current insurance policies would work, not just ones issued in the last 90 days. Pay stubs would no longer need the employer's phone number.

“The idea is that we want to move the bill as quickly as possible and get it on the governor’s desk for his signature,” said state Sen. Scott Newman, the Republican chairman of the Senate Transportation committee.

FOX 9 has heard of people having to come back four times because their documents don't qualify under Minnesota's current requirements.

Just 14 percent of Minnesotans are REAL ID-ready, state officials say. The state is now urging people to apply for a REAL ID by June 15 to make the Oct. 1 deadline, expecting a huge backlog of applications.

A valid passport will also allow you to board a plane on Oct. 1. But only 37 percent of Minnesotans have a passport.