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Gov. Mark Dayton on Thursday, May 18, 2017, signed the bill to bring Minnesota driver’s licenses in line with upgraded federal security standards, finally ensuring that Minnesotans won’t have to use passports to get through airport security.
The Minnesota House voted 120-11 on Wednesday to bring the state into compliance with the federal Real ID law; the Senate followed suit later in the evening with a 57-8 vote. It will allow Minnesota to follow the other 49 U.S. states in moving to upgrade their licensing systems.

Now that Dayton signed the bill, Smith said the state would be able to secure an extension through October 2020, by which time the state should be up to speed in issuing Real ID-compliant licenses. He said under the extension, standard driver’s licenses would temporarily be accepted at military facilities and federal buildings.

After that point, Minnesotans will have options: a Real ID license that will allow for access to airports, military facilities and federal buildings, or a standard license, which won’t be valid for air travel or entrance to military or federal buildings. A separate “enhanced” license, which is available now at an added cost, is accepted for air travel and at federal facilities, and can be used for travel between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries.

The new Real ID licenses will have the same renewal fees as standard licenses, Smith said.