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Real ID deadline extended

Department of Homeland Security Extends REAL ID Deadline to May 3, 2023

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Beginning May 3, 2023, all air travelers 18 and over will need a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card, state-issued enhanced driver’s license, or another Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) -acceptable form of identification at security checkpoints for domestic air travel.  

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act created minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and ID cards. The Act was implemented in conjunction with other federal anti-terrorism laws and regulations to control access to the federally regulated commercial aircraft and federal facilities requiring identification to enter (such as military installations and nuclear power facilities).

The REAL ID Act prohibits federal agencies including the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from accepting driver’s licenses as proof of identification from states that do not meet minimum security standards.

According to the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), about 22% of Minnesota driver's license and identification cards currently comply with Real ID regulations.

After May 3, 2023, unless they upgrade to REAL ID, the remaining 3,796,280 Minnesotans who have standard, non-REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification will no longer be able to use them at TSA security checkpoints to board domestic flights.

Although full REAL ID implementation was scheduled to take effect in October 2020, enforcement of the REAL ID Act was postponed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) by 19 months through May 3, 2023 in an effort to give state motor vehicle departments additional time to process REAL ID applications where licensing services were either closed or reduced most places.

Currently, fewer than half of all Americans have a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or state identification card.

Unless the DHS extends the deadline past May 3, 2023, Minnesotans after that date will need to present either a REAL ID driver's license; REAL ID identification card; a passport; an enhanced driver's license; or an enhanced identification card to TSA security checkpoints before they will be allowed to fly.

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