Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Scott Dibble said he is committed to passing a law this session to implement the federal government’s Real ID requirements, ensuring Minnesotans can board commercial airliners and enter federal buildings in the future.
Department of Public Safety leaders told senators Monday that the new ID program would cost between $4.3 and $5.1 million, an expense that includes producing new cards, training driver’s license agents and upgrading the state motor vehicle computer system.
The presentation of the report brought Minnesota a step closer toward resolving its yearslong dispute with the federal government. The Real ID Act of 2005 set more stringent requirements for licenses as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but Minnesota politicians objected over concerns over mass collection of private data.
In 2009, the Minnesota Legislature barred the Department of Public Safety from complying with the measure.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security rejected the state’s request for an extension last year as a looming deadline threatened to prevent Minnesotans from boarding commercial airlines and enter federal buildings or military bases.
Then in January, the federal government approved a two-year extension on enforcing the law for air travelers in Minnesota and other states. Minnesota legislators lifted the ban this spring and gave the department a few weeks to study the issue and report back.