July 27, 2017

Dayton signs Real ID bill

19 May 2017, 08:16 | Rodolfo Wallace

New law ends worry over Minn. driver's licenses, boarding planes

With days to go, Minnesota budget talks hit a stalemate

Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday morning signed the bill that lawmakers overwhelmingly approved on Wednesday. But in the end, a compromise brought almost every lawmaker and the governor on board.

It will take a bit of time for the state to produce the new licenses and the security system as required by the federal government.

"Whether it's visiting a child at a military base or taking their family on vacation, Minnesotans deserve the peace-of-mind that with their normal driver's licenses they are fully capable of going about their lives and work", said Rep. Dennis Smith, a Republican from Maple Grove who authored the bill.

Governor Dayton has offered two proposals in a compromise to legislators, both including higher tab fees.

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The bill will upgrade licenses to meet new federal standards.

After that point, Minnesotans will have options: a Real ID license that will allow for access to airports, military facilities and federal buildings, or a standard license, which won't be valid for air travel or entrance to military or federal buildings.

"This bill's been a long haul", Rep. Leon Lillie, DFL-North St. Paul, said on the floor. If granted, holders of state identification could use their licenses for federal purposes through 2020.

Compliant ID will become available in October 2018, which require people to provide more information to prove identity, Minnesota residency and lawful status. Republicans argued that the state should strengthen a rule that now prohibits licenses for people in the country illegally, while DFLers including Dayton said that shouldn't be part of the Real ID debate. Many Republicans wanted to legally ban undocumented immigrants from getting licenses to prevent the possibility of administrative action.

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