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Add getting a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to your pre-flight check list

Oct 23, 2022 06:05AM ● By Editor
Photo: MN DPS

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety • October 21, 2022

There is a lot to do when you're planning to take a vacation over the summer. Choose where to go, book your flights, make sure you've got your time off from work.

If you're planning to hop on an airplane next year, we've got something to add to your to-do list: Get a REAL ID-compliant license or ID.

It won't be long until you need a REAL ID-compliant license or ID to fly domestically. When the May 3, 2023, deadline hits, Minnesotans and the rest of U.S. travelers won't be able to use their standard driver's license to fly within the U.S. or visit some federal buildings. Instead, they will need to have a REAL ID-compliant license or a federal passport. If you're among the 70 percent who haven't switched to a REAL ID or enhanced driver's license, our Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) has all the details on how to get yours.

Not sure if you're compliant? Look for the star. REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses and identification cards are marked with a star at the top inside a golden circle. Enhanced driver's licenses and identification cards are also REAL ID compliant; however, cards issued before Jan. 1, 2021, do not have a star.

If you're not REAL ID ready, here are some tips to help get you there. The most important part of getting a REAL ID is having the right documents to prove your identity and residency. DVS has a full list of what you need on its website here.

The documents must be original. DPS-DVS cannot accept:

  • Photocopies
  • Scanned images
  • Faxed images
  • Digital images on a cell phone or other electronic device
  • Laminated documents

The name on those documents must match the name on the application. If you've changed your name for any reason, you'll need to bring proof of each name change from your birth to present day. Examples of acceptable proof include certified copies of:

  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce decree or dissolution of marriage
  • Adoption decree
  • Court-ordered name change

Don't put off getting your REAL ID. That May 3, 2023, deadline will be here before you know it. If you've got questions, DVS has answers. Check out its Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.

Shave off time at your office visit by pre-applying online at drive.mn.gov. The mobile-friendly web application includes the options to upload documents, so DVS can verify you have the right documents. It also lets you receive your REAL ID driver's license or ID card in 7-10 business days.​