The deadline for when U.S. travelers will need to present a Real ID credential to board a domestic flight is moving back to May 2023, the Department of Homeland Security announced Tuesday. Many Minnesotans will need these next two years to catch up.
Nearly 22% of Minnesota driver's license and identification card holders comply with Real ID regulations, according to the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles. That's up from about 15% in March 2020.
There are 3,796,280 Minnesotans with standard driver's licenses and identification cards — which after May 2023, should that deadline hold, will no longer be acceptable as a form of identification to board a domestic flight.
The Real ID implementation was scheduled to take effect in October. Postponing the enforcement of the Real ID Act will give motor vehicle departments across the nation time to process the new credentials after the pandemic closed or reduced services in many areas. Less than half of Americans with a license or state ID card have a Real ID-compliant document.
Minnesotans will need one of three options to show identification for domestic flights after the May 2023 deadline: a Real ID driver's license/identification card, a passport or an enhanced driver's license/identification card.
Any of those three must be used now to access federal facilities.
A passport or an enhanced driver's license/identification card, but not Real ID, can be used for travel by land or sea to Mexico, Canada and some Caribbean islands.
The number of passports issued by the state has dropped. In 2020, the state issued 231,885 passports down from about 320,000 in 2019, 345,500 in 2018 and 371,000 in 2017, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of State.
The Washington Post contributed to this report.