Minnesota rolls out REAL ID across the state

After a long wait and a lot of political infighting, we can all start applying to get a REAL ID driver’s license.

However, there’s a lot of documentation needed, so the state of Minnesota is asking residents to give it some time before applying for the new license.

The federal government has given residents two years to get a REAL ID license. So, not everyone needs to run out and get one right away unless your license is up for renewal. Also, this is a brand new system that everyone is still trying learn.

On Monday, DVS offices across the state celebrated smooth sailing as the first day of REAL ID rolled out.

The new licenses won’t look much different than your current card, but the star in the upper corner of the adult license and the under 21 license proves you have the proper federal documentation to board planes and get into federal buildings.

And while its now available, the state still wants you to wait.

“Wait to visit an office unless you need to change your name, change your address, or renew your current driver’s license. This will help you because it will reduce the amount of time you spend in line,” DPS Commissioner Mona Dohman said.

You’ll also notice some changes at the offices.

“One of the major changes is that their photo will be taken first when they come in, rather than last on the application process. And, obviously, more documentation will be needed,” said Dawn Olson with Driver Vehicle Services.

To find out you need, the state is asking drivers to go online and click on the new pre-application page. It will help you decide what kind of license you need and guide you through the documentation requirements.

“We tested transactions in five different locations yesterday, all of those transactions were tested successfully, including in two separate deputy registrar offices who gave us confirmation that our test cases went through; their transactions went through without issue, and they gave us that critical thumbs that needed to move forward,” said Dana Bailey with Minnesota Information Technology Services.

It’s important to note that the computer system that processes the new REAL IDs is completely different from the MNLARS system that has had so many troubles. This new system was developed by a contractor that has designed similar programs for about 27 different states.