If you want to fly this time next year, make sure you have a REAL ID

Oct 3, 2019


Minnesota air travelers have less than a year to obtain a “REAL ID” Minnesota driver’s license or identification (ID) card if they want to use one to board a commercial flight in the U.S. after Oct. 1, 2020. (A valid U.S. passport, military ID or enhanced ID can be used after that date regardless of whether an individual has a REAL ID, however.)

“The clock is ticking, and our message today is very clear,” said Roy Fuhrmann, chief operating officer for the Metropolitan Airports Commission at a Sept. 25 press conference with state public safety officials at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. “It's critically important for our flying public to have REAL ID to make sure they don’t get turned away at the checkpoint for not having one.”

The message is particularly relevant for Minnesotans because less than 10 percent of state drivers have a REAL ID license.

To obtain a Minnesota REAL ID, applicants must provide:

  • One document proving your identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States, such as a valid U.S. passport or certified birth certificate.     


  • One document proving your Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or an IRS W2 statement.                               


  • Two different documents proving your current residency in Minnesota, such as a valid Minnesota driver’s license, or a home utility service bill, bank account statement or credit card statement issued within 90 days of your application. 

Pre-apply online
At the press conference, public safety officials urged people to complete a pre-application online for a REAL ID to ensure they have the proper documentation in advance of their in-person visit to complete the application at a driver’s license office.

The change in ID requirements for boarding commercial flights in the U.S. is due to the deadline for enforcement of the REAL ID Act, which Congress passed following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.