State gets Real ID grace period from feds

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Dayton's office announced this week that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has agreed to grant Minnesota a "grace period" that runs through January 22, 2018.

Minnesota and several other states need compliance extensions before the next phase of enforcement begins.

In the meantime, the state has been granted the grace period while the Department of Homeland Security decides whether to give Missouri another extension.

The federal government has given ME more time to bring itself into compliance with a decade-old law regulating state-issued identification.

"The bottom line is you can use your current Minnesota driver's license to board an airplane for a domestic flight or to enter a federal facility".

PennDOT has started work on implementing REAL ID.

Minnesota has lagged behind other states in complying with the 2005 Real ID Act, which was written following the attacks of September 11, 2001.

In the next several months, ME will develop systems and procedures that will enable the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to issue Real ID-compliant licenses and identification cards. Legislation enacted earlier this year set that deadline for getting the state fully up to speed on Real ID.

Those who wish to purchase a Real ID-compliant license starting in 2019 would be charged a one-time fee in addition to the current driver's license fee.

Muszynski said the waiver can be renewed annually through 2020, if the state can demonstrate that it is making efforts to comply. Passage of that law has allowed the state to continue working toward compliance. A decadelong, $97 million project to upgrade the software system the state uses to process vehicle and driver's licenses is in its final stages, and in the midst of a bumpy rollout of the update related to vehicle licensing.

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