Senator Tomassoni Reminds Minnesotans that REAL ID Cards are Available October 1, 2018

Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) today reminded Minnesotans that REAL ID cards will soon become available.

“Minnesota remains on track to begin issuing REAL ID-compliant cards October 1,” said Sen. Tomassoni. “When available, the new cards will become an acceptable form of identification for domestic air travel and to access federal buildings. If you have questions or would appreciate additional information about the new identification cards, please contact my office by phone at 651-296-8017 or by email using the form online at”


What is a REAL ID?

A Minnesota REAL ID is a federally compliant driver’s license or state ID that will look similar to your current state drivers license, but would contain security enhancements intended to prevent tampering, counterfeiting, or duplication. They also include a bar code with data currently on your card such as endorsements or restrictions.

When do you need to get a new driver’s license or ID card?

Minnesotans whose driver’s licenses or identification cards expire before October 2018 should plan to renew their cards as they normally would. The optional REAL ID-compliant cards will not be available in Minnesota until October 2018.

  • The renewed license will be valid for four years, barring a suspension or revocation.
  • They will be able to apply for a REAL ID once they are available in October.
  • If they choose to apply for a REAL ID before their standard license expires, an early renewal fee would be charged and an additional four years would be added to the expiration date.

What do you need to obtain a REAL ID?

You need to bring proof of identity, date of birth, and legal presence in the U.S. You also need proof of a social security number and proof of current residency in Minnesota. For more information, please go to:

How much do the new IDs cost?

The cost for a REAL ID is the same as a standard driver’s license ($25.25) or ID card ($19.25). The early renewal fee, set in Minnesota law, is based on how many months the REAL ID is obtained before a person’s driver’s license or ID card expires.

  • $2 for a renewal 17 months before expiration; $4 for a renewal 18-29 months before expiration; $6 for a renewal more than 29 months before expiration.

Why would I want REAL ID compliant identification card?

When they become available in Minnesota, REAL ID-compliant cards will be an accepted form of identification for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities.

  • These cards can be used as a valid form of identification and for lawful driving privileges.
  • These cards cannot be used as border crossing documents.
  • If you do not plan to fly on domestic airlines or visit federal facilities, or if you do not want to provide additional proof of identity or residency, you do not need to get a REAL ID.

When will I need a REAL ID card to travel?

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security informed the Department of Public Safety that Minnesotans should be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card for domestic air travel until 2020 since the state is on track to issue REAL ID-compliant cards Oct. 1, 2018.

What can you do with an Enhanced Drivers License (EDL) that you cannot do with a REAL ID?

  • The EDL can be used as a U.S. border crossing document and for land and sea crossings in certain countries.
  • The EDL can be used for domestic air travel and to access federal facilities now.
  • The EDL will continue to be an acceptable form of ID for federal purposes even after REAL ID compliant cards become available.
  • Obtaining an EDL requires additional documentation and an interview questionnaire.
  • Cost: driver’s license $40.25 / ID card $34.25.



Senator David Tomassoni
David Tomassoni represents District 6, which includes portions of Itasca and St. Louis counties in the northeastern part of the state.

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