Lawmakers move ahead on Real ID bill

Lawmakers move ahead on Real ID bill

Minnesota is on its way to meeting federal standards on state driver’s licenses to board domestic flights. The Legislature on Wednesday approved a bill to comply with the 2005 federal Real ID Act, which includes a 2018 deadline for upgraded IDs. Real ID is aimed at combating terrorism and identify fraud. Gov. Mark Dayton says he will sign the bill.

We offer kudos to state lawmakers, who have struggled with Real ID for years. One concern was federal overreach. Another involves whether to grant driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants in Minnesota. The latter of those two concerns has been broken out into a separate bill, so Real ID could move ahead, thus preventing any possible travel disruptions for Minnesotans.

With passage of the bill, Minnesota is expected to get an extension allowing the state to use current IDs until 2020. The state would begin issuing the new IDs next year.

So, in the end, it probably took too long for Minnesota to get this matter resolved, but the federal mandate had to be met, like it or not. We believe Real ID has benefits and any bugs in the system can be worked out or reformed over time.