Minnesota plans to expand same-day driver's license program

Minnesota is set to join other states that offer same-day printing of driver's licenses.

Buried in the transportation bill, which passed the Minnesota House of Representatives on Wednesday, is money for a pilot project to print your license or ID on the spot.

Currently, when you apply for a license, you are given a temporary card while you wait for your full ID to arrive in the mail.

A provision in the transportation bill will send $2.4 million for a one-year pilot or test same-day printing in two cities: Moorhead and Lakeville. The same-day issuance is only for standard versions; enhanced IDs and REAL IDs still need extra screening and so those still come by mail.

But with REAL ID growing, is it worth testing? According to the Department of Public Safety, currently 3.5 million Minnesotans still hold a standard license, far more than the enhanced and REAL.

Last week, they issued or renewed 25,000 standard licenses, far outpacing the others.

If you're curious about the results of this test, you'll be waiting a while. It doesn't even begin until October of next year, in part because the centers need renovation to be more secure because they'll have the technology to print licenses. And the results aren't due to be reported until the beginning of 2024.