Minnesota Driver’s License Not Valid ID at Airports in 2016

by Community Manager ‎11-20-2015 04:45 PM - edited ‎11-20-2015 04:47 PM (1,784 Views)

In 2016, many Minnesotans may find that their driver’s licenses are no longer an acceptable form of ID at the airport. Here’s what you need to know.


People who have standard Minnesota driver’s licenses may need another form of identification to board an airplane in 2016, thanks to the REAL ID Act, a federal antiterrorism law passed in 2005. Phase 4 of the law will require passengers to have acceptable documentation for boarding an airplane, but standard Minnesota driver’s licenses will not be an acceptable form of identification. The Department of Homeland Security will provide notice in advance of the specific date that Phase 4 goes into effect.


AAA encourages Minnesotans to continue with their travel plans. However, Minnesotans may need to consider using their passports as identification, or applying for passports; they also can apply for enhanced driver’s licenses (EDL), which meet federal standards for air travel and access to federal buildings.


As background, the REAL ID Act set certain standards for identification documents, with the goal of improving the security of driver’s licenses. REAL ID prohibits federal agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration, from accepting driver’s licenses that don’t meet these standards. But in 2009, Minnesota legislators passed a law prohibiting the state’s commissioner of public safety from implementing REAL ID. Minnesota is now the only state not in compliance.


AAA encourages Minnesota lawmakers to take action as soon as the legislative session resumes, and pass a law to allow the state to comply with federal regulations.


For more information on REAL ID, visit the Department of Homeland Security’s page addressing this topic.


A version of this story appears in the November/December 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.


Image credit/source: Hero Images/Getty Images 

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