State gets Real ID grace period from feds

Minnesota’s extension for Real ID enforcement expired Tuesday, but state officials say there’s no reason for concern.

They say the state will be covered under a federal grace period until Jan. 22, 2018.

“During this time, federal agencies will continue to accept drivers’ licenses and identification cards issued by states with these pending extension requests,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesman Bruce Gordon.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security had given Minnesota until Oct. 10 to comply with the federal law, which requires state-issued drivers’ licenses and identification card to meet stricter security standards.

They have not yet granted Gov. Mark Dayton’s request for another extension, which he wants to run through Oct. 2018. Legislation enacted earlier this year set that deadline for getting the state fully up to speed on Real ID.

Minnesota and several other states need compliance extensions before the next phase of enforcement begins. Real ID-compliant drivers’ licenses and identification cards will be needed to board commercial aircraft beginning Jan. 22, 2018. Travelers will also be able to use a passport.

“Federal officials have told the governor’s office that states which continue to make progress with compliance will continue to be granted these extensions,” Gordon said.

  • RBBrittain

    There have been a lot of scare reports from the states that (like Minnesota) had to pass Real ID laws earlier this year. The fact is, once Minnesota passed its law it was placed on the regular annual extension schedule, which expires October 10 each year; most of the 24 states (and five territories) whose extensions expired yesterday are now “under review” for full compliance, another annual extension, or possible rejection. (Just today, DHS certified North Carolina as fully compliant, and gave Virginia another annual extension till October 2018.) Only states that are rejected will face the January 22 deadline for TSA enforcement. IMO Minnesota, and the other states that took 2017 legislative action (including Maine, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Missouri, Oklahoma, Montana, Oregon, Washington State & Alaska), will likely get 2018 extensions; if any states don’t, it will be because DHS uncovered a serious problem with their compliance efforts.