DPS advises Minnesotans apply for REAL ID sooner rather than later

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Minnesota state leaders are urging people to apply for a REAL ID-compliant card sooner rather than later.

Come October, you will not be able to use your driver's license at the airport. You will need a REAL ID-compliant card or a passport to fly.

The Department of Vehicle Services updated lawmakers Friday that only about 12% of Minnesotans currently have a REAL ID-compliant card.

But many people have written into 5 EYEWITNESS News saying the requirements to get a REAL ID are causing frustrations. 

"I think lots of people are confused," said Haley Larsen, who went to the DMV Thursday and got turned away. "The lady was super nice but she said she couldn't accept my forms."

Even though REAL ID is going to be a federal requirement to fly, some states have added stricter statutes. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS learned Friday that Minnesota may have more requirements for documentation than any other state.

For instance, in Minnesota, you cannot have two unrelated names on a utility bill, so people such as college roommates will run into a problem. Also, a utility bill cannot be older than 90 days and a car title cannot be more than a year old.

What's the difference between the different ID cards?

According to DVS, about 15% of people are getting turned away at the DMV because they do not have the correct documents.

"We are not treating Minnesotans the greatest because there are some barriers here," said Emma Corrie, the new head of DVS.

Corrie asked lawmakers Friday if they could make some changes.

"Catch me telling you across the counter, 'That doesn't qualify.' I got an irate customer now and we have our deputy registrars that are dealing with that on a daily basis," Corrie explained.

Another concern is how long it will take to process the incoming applications.
The deadline to get a REAL ID-compliant card is Oct. 1, 2020. Right now, the turnaround time is 46 days. But DVS explained, as more people rush in to apply, the wait time could jump to 120 days. That means you would have to go in before June 1st to get your REAL ID on time.

The main difference between the REAL ID license and an enhanced license is the enhanced can be used at border crossings while a REAL ID doesn't work at border crossings. Click the link above for the full breakdown in differences.

DVS is urging people to go to their website and read all the fine print about what to bring before you go to the DMV. You can find that list of document requirements here.

For more information on REAL ID and how Minnesota is addressing the current issues, click here.