New online tool aims to help Minnesotans get REAL ID faster

Minnesota REAL ID

Minnesotans have a few years to get their REAL ID, but the state's Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services is trying to make the process easier by adding online tools.

According to DPS, Minnesotans now have until May 3, 2023, to be REAL ID ready, but many will decide whether to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID when they renew their driver’s license or ID card in the coming months.

Officials recommend using the online "Help Me Choose" tool to select the best license or ID type for their needs. You can also pre-apply online to save time during the office visit. Residents also have the option to submit their required documents online for pre-verification before they visit an office, saving you an extra trip.

Beginning May 3, 2023, 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
  • An enhanced driver’s license or ID

Pre-Verification Process

Eligible Minnesotan may pre-verify their documents while pre-applying online at

Those who choose to participate will upload clear, high quality images of the documents they select during their pre-application. DPS-DVS will review the uploaded documents within three business days and send an email confirming the documents are pre-verified. DPS-DVS will send an email with details and next steps if there are issues with any of the uploaded documents.

Finally, you will receive the pre-verification notification, and then bring the original documents to your local office to complete the REAL ID or EDL/EID application.

To participate, you must be 18 or older and have a Minnesota driver’s license or number. You must provide your Social Security number during the pre-application and have a verified address on record with DPS-DVS or select to do an address change and provide a new address.

Minnesotans who are renewing an EDL/EID or REAL ID are not eligible for pre-verification and are only required to bring documents when renewing if they are changing their name or address.

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 at a DVS exam station or driver’s license office.

Minnesotans can still use the pre-application feature if they choose not to use the pre-verification tool. DPS-DVS strongly encourages anyone who is renewing or applying for a driver’s license or ID card to pre-apply online at 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. They must have the 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.  

For more information, click here.