Question: Do I need to obtain the new Real ID and Driver’s License when my license expires?

Answer: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) began issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards on Oct. 1, 2018, to comply with the federal REAL ID Act.

Minnesotans are not required to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card; however, starting Oct. 1, 2020, a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification will be required to board a domestic flight or enter federal facilities.

As of early January, nearly 11% of Minnesota driver’s license and ID card holders have a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card. There are about 3.7 million Minnesota license holders who will need to decide if they need a REAL ID or other acceptable form of identification before the federal deadline later this year.

Determining which type of license or ID card to apply for depends on what you need your card for.

Minnesota offers three different options:

  • a standard driver’s license or ID card,
  • a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card
  • and an enhanced driver’s license or ID card.

All three can be used as a valid form of identification and for lawful driving privileges now and after Oct. 1, 2020, but starting that date your standard Minnesota driver’s license or ID card will not be accepted to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. Enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards can also be used for U.S. border crossings by land or by sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean and cost $15 more than a standard driver’s license. A REAL ID costs the same as a standard driver’s license or ID card.

Now is the time to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID if you will need one later this year. The best way to make sure you have everything you need before visiting a driver’s license office is to pre-apply online at drive.mn.gov. 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. A REAL ID requires additional documentations compared to a standard driver’s license including:

  • One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States.
  • One document proving social security number.
  • Two different documents proving current Minnesota residency.

If you have questions about REAL ID, visit REALID.dps.mn.gov or contact DPS-DVS at dvs.driverslicense@state.mn.us or 651-297-3298.