Sgt. Troy Christianson mug

Sgt. Troy Christianson of the Minnesota State Patrol

Question: Can you explain the new Real ID and Driver’s License process in Minnesota?

Answer: REAL ID is a federal requirement that establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The benefits to the new driver’s license include use for domestic air travel and access to federal facilities such as military bases.

Beginning October 1, Minnesotans will have the option to apply for a REAL ID-compliant card, although Minnesotans will be able to use their standard licenses and ID cards for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until October 1, 2020.

If there is no need to obtain a REAL ID at this time, state officials are suggesting that residents wait to apply unless they need to change their name or address, or renew their current license. This will help ease the transition to the new card and reduce wait times.

A pre-application feature will allow Minnesotans to enter a significant portion of their driver’s license or ID card application online — including REAL ID applications — reducing the time spent in driver’s license offices. An online tool to help Minnesotans decide which of the state’s three license options best meets their needs: a standard driver’s license or ID card, a REAL ID-compliant license or ID card, or an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or ID card (EID).

For additional information and what documents you will need to bring with you, go to:

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848. (Or reach him at,

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