Minnesotans’ Wings Clipped by ID Law?

Minnesotans' Wings Clipped by ID Law?

Chris Kuester, Staff

Minnesota residents may not be able to fly with their current IDs. Ten years ago, the United States government passed the Real ID Act. This act was supposed to help toughen the standards to get a license and to make it easier to track down criminals and terrorists. However, only 22 states complied with this new act: Minnesota not being one of these states. Nineteen states had been granted extensions through October, while 4 states were under review for the same extension. That leaves 5 states that don’t want to comply with this law, one of which is Minnesota. Minnesota is the only state still waiting for the extension. It has a state law that contradicts the Real ID Act. Although the federal law states you can’t board flights with these “fake” IDs, the TSA and DHS haven’t been enforcing these laws.


There aren’t really a ton of differences between this new “enhanced” driver’s license and the old state one. The main two differences are how you get one and a chip. How you get one only changed a little bit compared to what it was. The only thing that is different is that you need to bring your proof of citizenship. The chip, however, is new. This chip is a high-tech electronic radio frequency identification chip. This can be used as a passport in some cases like going to Canada or Mexico, and it will be the only ID that the TSA and DHS accepts.


So why does this matter? Well if your family is planning to travel somewhere by plane, you might not be able to board your flight unless you have a passport because of this act. If this law happens to become enforced, this could cause problems. Some things that could change if this law becomes enforced is that you’d either need an “approved” license or a passport to board any flight in the U.S. Whether it’s out of country or not.


But there is no need to worry quite yet because the DHS hasn’t issued enforcement. In fact, Minnesotans have until 2018 to get their licenses updated. This will give people enough time to update their licenses and will also give the government officials time to change the law to bring it in line with federal requirements. Hopefully people will update their licenses and won’t have any problems with traveling anytime soon.