Skip to main content

Deadline extended: Minnesotans have another 19 months to get a REAL ID

The federal government has extended the deadline the Oct. 1, 2021, deadline to May 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The federal government has extended the REAL ID full enforcement deadline, which is good news for procrastinating Minnesotans. 

The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) full enforcement deadline for REAL ID — meaning people wouldn't be able to fly or enter federal facilities with anything other than a passport/passport card, REAL ID or enhanced driver's license — was Oct. 1, 2021. 

But now, DHS has extended that full enforcement deadline by 19 months to May 3, 2023, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a news release says. 

This gives Minnesotans an extra 18 months to get a REAL ID or enhanced driver's license if they don't want to travel with their passport. 

DHS says the pandemic has "significantly impacted" states' ability to issue REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and ID cards as many licensing agencies operate at limited capacity. 

“Protecting the health, safety, and security of our communities is our top priority,” DHS Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in a statement. “As our country continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline will give states needed time to reopen their driver’s licensing operations and ensure their residents can obtain a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card.” 

The agency "will publish an interim final rule in the coming days to effectuate this enforcement date change," the release notes.

As of March 11, more than 635,500 Minnesotans had REAL IDs, more than 424,300 had enhanced IDs and more than 3.79 million had a standard driver's license or ID. 

Getting a REAL ID requires more documents than what's required for a standard license, including one that proves your identity, date of birth and legal presence in the U.S.; one that proves your social security number; and two that prove your current residency in Minnesota. 

For more information on getting a REAL ID in Minnesota and how to apply, click here

Next Up

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.

the mayo clinic - edit

Group says Mayo should be 'severely punished' over research puppy's death

The puppy died two days after undergoing a procedure at a Mayo research facility.

FLickr - minneapolis police - Tony Webster - Feb 2020 - crop

Charges: Man kidnapped woman, sexually assaulted her at gunpoint

The suspect faces three separate felony charges.

mn state capitol january 17 2021

St. Cloud 'Boogaloo Boi' who discussed attack on MN Capitol gets 2 years

He was charged with illegally possessing a machine gun.

Chris Smith

Gophers add All-Ivy League D-tackle from Harvard

Chris Smith will be eligible immediately as a graduate transfer.

school bus

High school basketball team returns from game to find bus driver dead

Members of the girls team returned to the bus to find the driver unresponsive.

covid-19 testing site sign

Minnesota AG sues COVID testing site, alleging it sent false results

Sometimes the company didn't send people their results at all, the lawsuit alleges.

optum headquarters chad davis wikimedia commons

UnitedHealth Group says it made $287B last year, $24B of it profit

The corporation's Optum business represented a significant chunk of that total.


Omicron may have already peaked in Minnesota

Reported cases lag what's happening in real time, so the newly reported cases over the next week or so will still be very high.

MnDot snow plow cam I-35 12-10-21

MnDOT reveals 50 snowplow name finalists

Voting is open through Wednesday, Jan. 26.


Real ID licenses go live on Monday: What you need to know

Minnesota's driver's licenses and ID cards change on Oct. 1.

driver's license

More than 130K Minnesotans have one week to renew their licenses, IDs

About 300,000 Minnesotans license or ID expiration dates were extended to March 31 due to COVID. Now they're about to expire.

crowne plaza hotel minneapolis mn

Former downtown Minneapolis Crowne Plaza to become boutique hotel

The hotel closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and never reopened.

tettegouche state park

People are getting excited to travel in Minnesota again, survey finds

Explore Minnesota said people are ready, but cautious, about travel amid the COVID-19 pandemic.