May 3, 2023 is still more than seven months away, but that is the deadline for people to get REAL ID – an identity card/driver’s license that will be required to fly domestically and enter federal facilities after that date.
REAL ID has been a long time coming. It was a recommendation coming out of the 9/11 Commission that investigated the airplane attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was determined that to enhance safety for air travelers, driver’s licenses and identity cards needed more proof that the person presenting an ID. REAL ID was born, but it has taken 20 years for its official implementation. It was delayed twice during the height of COVID-19 – the most recent being a delay from Oct. 1, 2021 to May 3, 2023.
Those who don’t wish to get REAL ID will need to have a valid passport to fly any time after May 3, 2023.
To upgrade your driver’s license to REAL ID, you will need to bring original copies of the following with you:
- One document proving identity, date of birth and legal presence (a birth certificate, passport, permanent resident card or certificate of citizenship).
- One document proving a social security number (a social security card or W2 tax form).
- Two documents proving current Minnesota residence (a current driver’s license, an income tax return, utility bill or credit card statement.
It should be noted that if your name is changed (such as a married woman who has taken on her husband’s name, additional documentation (marriage certificate and/or divorce certificate will need to be presented).
May 3, 2023 may seem well out in the distance, but it be here sooner than you think so, if you plan fly next year, make a point to bring your documentation to the Wright County License Center (3650 Braddock Ave. NE, Buffalo) or any other DMV location.