Gov. Dayton requests another extension for Real ID


Gov. Mark Dayton has asked Homeland Security to allow Minnesotans to use their IDs to get into federal buildings and military bases until the state legislature passes Real ID.

Dayton sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security Monday requesting the extension.

Minnesota is one of five states or territories that hasn't already upgraded its IDs to meet Real ID regulations, and since last October people haven't been able to use the standard driver's license or state ID to get onto military bases or into federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

And if the state doesn't become compliant by the January 2018 deadline, Minnesotans won't be able to use standard IDs to get through airport security.

But state officials have taken steps to help the state comply with Real ID ahead of the deadline, which is why Dayton has again requested an extension.

Dayton requested an extension last fall too, but it was denied. Federal officials said at that time that Minnesota could renew its request for an extension if "there are developments or additional information provided" that shows the state is making progress towards meeting the Real ID, according to Dayton's letter.

The governor argues that because Minnesota passed a law that gives officials the go-ahead to start planning for Real ID, the Department of Homeland Security should allow state IDs to be used to get into those federal facilities, the letter says.

"This is significant movement on the part of the Legislature," Dayton wrote. "Legislative leaders have also stated their desire to pass a law to implement REAL ID prior to the May 23, 2016, adjournment deadline."

Dayton says officials are "eager" to implement Real ID and to give Minnesotans as much time as possible to get an ID that's compliant with federal regulations prior to the 2018 deadline.

"While Minnesota has made significant progress, we will need, and I request, the assistance of your Department to help us pass legislation that authorizes and directs the implementation of Real ID in this legislative session," the letter concluded.

Why aren’t Minnesota’s license compliant?

Minnesota lawmakers were concerned about privacy, so they passed a law in 2009 that not only prohibits the state from upgrading to the new federal standards – but also prohibits the commissioner of public safety from taking any action to plan for such an upgrade.

The bill that was signed into law late last month usurps that, and allows the commissioner to actually start planning for the Real ID changes.

According to the Department of Public Safety's website, the agency is starting to plan for upgrades to the state's driver's licenses to comply with Real ID. It previously said it would request another extension from the Department of Homeland Security, as directed by state legislators.

The first step is for the agency to submit a report to the legislature by April 14. That report will include a review of the requirements and what it'll take for the Minnesota's ID to be compliant; a plan for implementing the new requirements, including a timeline and information on how much it will cost; and a list of state laws or rules that will need to be changed.

For more information on the types of identification you can use to enter federal facilities, as well as other details about Real ID, click here.

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