REAL ID October enforcement deadline approaching

As the REAL ID enforcement deadline approaches, only 22% of Minnesotans have the REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Beginning Oct. 1, Minnesotans will not be able to use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. Instead, they will need one of three options:

  1. A passport or passport card.
  2. A REAL ID.
  3. An enhanced driver’s license or ID.

Minnesotans may apply for a REAL ID when they renew their license or ID card or apply for a REAL ID early for an additional fee. A REAL ID is optional, DPS said.

Those who choose to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card are strongly encouraged to pre-apply online at before completing the application process in person at a DVS exam station, deputy registrar or driver’s license office, DPS said. Pre-applying saves time during the office visit and helps ensure customers bring the correct documents when they apply.

Any eligible Minnesotan can apply for a REAL ID before their license expires but there is a fee in addition to the standard cost of the license or ID card, depending on how early of a renewal. According to DPS, the fee is:

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

When renewing early, four years will be added to the license or ID card’s original expiration date, so while an early renewal will cost a little more, the license or ID card will be valid for a longer period of time. The early renewal option is only for those who renewed their Minnesota driver’s license or ID card before REAL IDs were available on Oct. 1, 2018. Their licenses must also expire after the full enforcement date of Oct. 1, 2021.

For more information and documentation needed for a REAL ID, click here.