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Help yourself, help our travelers: spread the word about REAL ID

Minnesota air travelers have less than a year to obtain a “REAL ID” Minnesota driver’s license or identification (ID) card if they want to use one to board a commercial flight in the U.S. after Oct. 1, 2020. (A valid U.S. passport, military ID or enhanced ID can be used after that date regardless of whether an individual has a REAL ID, however.)

That was the clear message shared Sept. 25 at a press conference at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

“The clock is ticking, and our message today is very clear,” said Roy Fuhrmann, chief operating officer for the Metropolitan Airports Commission. “It's critically important for our flying public to have REAL ID to make sure they don’t get turned away at the checkpoint for not having one.”

According to a study commissioned by the U.S. Travel Association, an estimated 78,500 travelers could possibly be turned away at airports on the first day of the new requirement, resulting in $40.3 million (excluding airfares) in lost travel spending on the first day.

So, if you don’t already have a valid ID for flying, now’s the time to get one.  We’re also asking airport employees to spread the word with family and friends, so they don’t end up missing important business and family trips.   

What you need to know
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which imposed minimum security standards for state-issued licenses. To obtain a REAL ID, applicants must provide: 

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


  • One document proving your Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or an IRS W2 statement.                               


  • Two different documents proving your current residency in Minnesota, such as a valid Minnesota driver’s license, or a home utility service bill, bank account statement or credit card statement issued within 90 days of your application. 

Pre-apply online
At the press conference, public safety officials urged people to complete a pre-application online to ensure they have the proper documentation in advance of their in-person visit to a driver’s license office, where they will need to complete the process. 

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