Do you need a Minnesota Real ID to fly?

Green street sign with the text 'Minnesota Real ID

When you are flying out of Minnesota St. Paul International Airport (MSP) for the first time, you may be wondering how to pass through security. MSP Airport uses standard Transport Security Administration (TSA) security screening requirements to keep travelers safe. However, there is an upcoming change to Federal laws that will impact what you need to get through MSP’s TSA security screening. Starting on May 7, 2025, residents of Minnesota will need a Minnesota “Real ID” driver’s license or identification card (ID) to board any domestic or international commercial flight.

Minnesota Identification Documents Accepted Until May 7, 2025

Until the change is made on May 7, 2025, requiring a Minnesota Real ID, Minnesotan travelers can use the following identification documents when boarding a plane from MSP:

● State-Issued Drivers License
● State-Issued Photo ID Card
● Passport
● U.S. Military ID Card

These are the standard government-issued identification documents that will be accepted. Once the change goes into effect on May 7, 2025, Minnesota travelers will be required to have a Real ID.

Close up image of passport, social security card, drivers license and vaccine card.

What Is A Minnesota Real ID?

In 2005, The Real ID Act was passed by Congress. The Real ID Act established minimum security standards for all state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. In response to this act, Minnesota began issuing Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses and identification cards in October 2018.

The Minnesota Real ID is a type of driver’s license or identification card that meets the federal standards for identification purposes established by

The Real ID Act. Including additional security features and verification processes to ensure the authenticity of the document and the identity of the individual holding it, the Minnesota Real ID is a form of enhanced identification.

How Will The Minnesota Real ID Be Used?

Obtaining a Minnesota Real ID is not mandatory. However, it will be required for certain federal purposes.

A Minnesota Real ID will be used for a variety of activities including boarding domestic flights, entering federal facilities, and accessing certain government services. So it is advised that Minnesota frequent travelers all obtain the Real ID as soon as possible to ensure no issues while traveling.

What Is The Difference Between A Minnesota Real ID And Other Minnesota IDs?

The primary difference between a Minnesota Real ID and regular Minnesota IDs is that the Minnesota Real IDs meet the federal standards for identification. Regular Minnesota IDs do not There are some other key differences between the two including:

● Minnesota Real ID Requires Stricter Identity Verification: To obtain the Minnesota Real ID, you will need to provide additional identification documentation. For example, you will need to present a certified birth certificate, passport, or permanent resident card to get a Minnesota Real ID. To be issued a regular Minnesota ID, you only need to provide standard documentation like your Social Security card and proof of residency.
● Minnesota Real ID Has Additional Security Features: A Minnesota Real ID has more security features than a regular state ID. The Minnesota Real ID has a star in the top right corner and a gold circle with a star cutout on the front of the card which makes the Real ID more difficult to counterfeit or alter.
● Minnesota Real ID Will Be Required For Federal Acceptance: A Minnesota Real ID is accepted by federal agencies for certain purposes including boarding domestic flights, accessing federal buildings, and entering nuclear power plants. A regular state ID may not be accepted for these purposes after the federally mandated enforcement deadline in 2025.

The Minnesota Real ID will be a requirement mostly when traveling domestically and through customs, as well as accessing federal services and properties. Both a Minnesota Real ID and a regular Minnesota state ID will be used for many other purposes, such as driving, voting, obtaining travel credit cards, and accessing non-federal government buildings and services.

Red security checkpoint sign.

How Do I Get A Minnesota Real ID?

If you plan on flying, you will need to obtain a Minnesota Real ID. You can find all the information on how to obtain one on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website. There you will find all of the information you need to obtain your Minnesota Real ID. Here is a summary of the steps:

1. Make sure you are eligible to obtain a Minnesota Real ID: You must be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident and have a valid Social Security number (SSN). You will also need to provide proof of identity, residency, and lawful presence in the United States.

2 Collect all the necessary identification documents: You will have to bring identification documents with you to get a Minnesota Real ID. A list of acceptable documents can be found on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s website. Some documents include:
● A passport
● Certified U.S. Birth Certificate
● Permanent Resident Card

Note: If you have had a name change and your current name does not match your ID, you will need either:

  • Certified certificate of marriage
  • Certified court order
  • Certified divorce decree or dissolution of marriage

3. Visit your local DVS office: At your appointment, you will provide your documents. Then you will take a photograph and pay the fee for a Real ID. The fees* are:
● $21.50 initial application
● $21.50 renewal fee
● $20.75 for senior citizens
● $17.00 duplicate card
*The fees are as of March 2023. Fees may change at any time.

4. Receive your new Minnesota Real ID: Once you have completed the application process and paid the fee, the Minnesota Real ID will be mailed to you within two to four weeks.

For Minneapolis resident travelers, there is also a Real ID office now open at MSP. You can schedule an appointment at MSP to obtain one. Learn more on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website.

Back of person walking through the airport with id ready.

Will The Minnesota Real ID Provide Me Priority During TSA Security Screening?

The Minnesota Real ID will be required for Minnesota residents to board any commercial flights. However, they will not provide priority security screening from the TSA. To get priority screening, you will need TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. Both programs are offered by the TSA to provide priority booking:

● TSA Pre-Check: PreCheck is a program offered by the TSA that allows travelers to use a dedicated screening lane at MSP. PreCheck members can keep their shoes, belts, and light jackets on. They can also leave laptops and liquids in their carry-on bags. Pre-Check is available to U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, and lawful permanent residents who pay a fee and pass a background check.

● Global Entry: Global Entry is a TSA program that provides expedited clearance for travelers entering the United States. Global Entry members can use automated kiosks at participating airports, allowing them to bypass the traditional customs and immigration lines. Global Entry is available to U.S. citizens, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and citizens of certain other countries who pay a fee and pass a background check.

Both of these programs will provide you with priority security screening when traveling. You can learn more about the difference between TSA PreCheck and Global Entry and how to apply.

Soon you will need a Minnesota Real ID to fly from MSP. Until then, your regular ID will work. Visit our Travel Tips blog for more helpful information. As the number one MSP short and long-term offsite airport parking provider, we’ll keep you in the loop.