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The REAL ID bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday evening. The bill still contains language unnecessary to implement REAL ID in the state. There is language, which Senate DFL members attempted to delete, relating to firearms data being shared with the federal government. There is also language that places unnecessary restrictions on the rulemaking authority granted in the bill to implement REAL ID. DFL members also attempted to delete this provision.

The REAL ID implementation bill would grant the Department of Public Safety (DPS) the authority to make Minnesota driver’s licenses and IDs compliant with the federal standards. The bill creates a two-tier system with a REAL ID compliant ID and driver’s license and a noncompliant instate ID and driver’s license. This allows those who have privacy concerns and those who will not be traveling by airplane to maintain their current driver’s license and ID, while also allowing the traveling public to get a REAL ID compliant ID or driver’s license. DPS would have to begin issuing compliant IDs and driver’s licenses by Oct. 1, 2018. The Senate bill would also pay for the costs associated with fee waivers for some license holders who would be required to get a compliant license out of the natural schedule. (SF 166)