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What you need to know about a Real ID

On Monday, Minnesotans were able to get federally compliant driver's licenses and identification cards dubbed Real IDs.

Here is what you need to know about getting yours:

Why do I need to get a Real ID?

The Real ID Act stems from a recommendation by the 9/11 Commission to set a national standard for "the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses."

In two years, Minnesotans' standard driver's licenses or ID cards will no longer get them on domestic flights or allow them to enter federal facilities such as military bases. You will need either a Real ID or an enhanced driver's license/ID. Federal courthouses are exempt.

Do I need it now?

To be clear, there is no rush.

Minnesotans have until Oct. 1, 2020, to get their Real ID. Until then, standard driver's licenses will work for boarding domestic flights and entering federal facilities.

After the 2020 deadline, a standard driver's license will continue to work, but only for driving and basic identification purposes.

Monday was simply the first day the Real IDs were available in Minnesota.

What do I need to do?

To get a Real ID you must go in person to a license bureau to get one. You will need to take more documentation than for a standard license:

• One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States, such as a passport or birth certificate.

• Proof of Social Security number, like a Social Security card or W-2 form.

• Two documents proving Minnesota residency, like a valid driver's license or credit card statement.

A list of all accepted documents is posted at dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/real-id.

The extra documents are intended to make sure people's identity documents are more consistent and secure. It was a recommendation of the commission examining security after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

What other types of ID are there?

If you do not want a Real ID, you can get an enhanced driver's license/ID, which can be used for the same things as a Real ID. The difference is these IDs allow for travel to Canada, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean. Enhanced ID applicants will have to complete an interview questionnaire. More information about the process and needed documents can be found on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety's website at dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/real-id. Standard driver's licenses and IDs will also still be available.

Are Real IDs more expensive?

A Real ID will cost the same as a standard driver's license, $25.25, or ID Card, $19.25. There are added fees, though, for current licenses renewed before their expiration dates.

Will I be able to fly without a Real ID?

Even after the tougher restrictions begin in 2020, passports will still be accepted for boarding all international and domestic flights. Additional types of IDs that will get you on a flight are available on the Transportation Security Administration's website at tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification.

To learn more

For more information visit the Real ID website at dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/real-id.

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