Sen. Simonson Votes for a neutral Real ID bill

ST. PAUL, Minn – State Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) voted on Wednesday for neutral Real ID language that would allow Minnesotans to board flights and visit their loved ones on military bases without unrelated and controversial immigration issues. After years of trying, the Minnesota Legislature finally reached a compromise that leaves the issue of driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants out of the Real ID debate. The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 57 to 8.

“After years of delays, the Minnesota Legislature passed a REAL ID bill today that will allow Minnesotans to fly with their driver’s license and allow those worried about data privacy to remain private,” said Senator Simonson. “This is a clean bill that I am proud to support, and I am glad we have finally found agreement on this issue and can move on to other pressing matters.”


  • This year the legislature is granting the MN Department of Public Safety (DPS) the authority to come into compliance with federally mandated REAL ID standards.
  • The bill requires DPS to begin issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s license and IDs by Oct. 1, 2018.
  • For Minnesotans seeking to renew their license early to get a REAL ID-compliant ID there is a sliding scale of early renewal fees ranging from $2-$6 depending on how early they renew before their ID expires.
  • All DMV locations will be offering the new REAL ID-compliant license and IDs
Erik Simonson represents District 7 in northeastern Minnesota.

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