What You Need to Know About Real ID


Real ID is a federal law passed as part of the 9/11 Commission in 2005 and requires states to issue standardized ID cards and driver’s licenses that include new technology. The intent of the law is to prevent forged documents and inhibit terrorism. There are four states that have yet to comply with the law or communicate to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on how it will meet the requirements. These states are Louisiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire and New York.

Check out this FAQ from DHS for a full rundown on Real ID.

Initial phases of implementing Real ID had to do with access to federal buildings. The final phase of Real ID has to do with boarding airlines. According to Minnesota Public Radio, this has Minnesotans wondering whether they will need a new ID to fly in 2016.

If Minnesota does not take action, then Federal agencies will not recognize a Minnesota driver’s license as a valid ID, and this could have a huge impact on the boarding of commercial airlines. Drastically increased wait time at the airport could result, negatively impacting the business travel industry, which depends on many of the airport efficiencies that TSA and the airlines have improved upon over the last decade. Federal officials did visit Minnesota this week to try to persuade state lawmakers to comply with ID card standards required by the federal government.

If you live in Minnesota, tell your elected officials to take action now to resolve this issue.

If you need more information, please contact me at sdowney@gbta.org.

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