Dept. of Homeland Security Tells State REAL ID Extension is Not Granted

Via Governor's Office Flickr

REAL ID has become a hot button issue in Minnesota, given that the state policy makers have struggled to implement the security precaution aimed at improving homeland security, and preventing terrorism in a timely manner. A rejection of a REAL ID implementation requested extension was sent to Governor Dayton on May 13, reigniting the topic into the state’s public discourse.

Governor Dayton wrote to the Department of Homeland Security in early April requesting the state be granted an extension for REAL ID implementation and compliance of two additional years, from 2018 to 2020. The Assistant Secretary for International Affairs & Chief Diplomatic Officer, Alan D. Bresin and Assistant Secretary of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Philip A. McNamara sent a letter back to Dayton, informing him the state of Minnesota will not receive the the requested extension.

The letter begins with the authors commending the state for its ongoing to work to implement REAL ID. Specifically, they point to “the enactment of legislation that permits the Minnesota Department Public Safety to begin planning to implement the requirements of REAL ID and regulation”  as a “positive step” in the right direction towards full compliance with the REAL ID ACT.

Despite the progress noted, the authors of the letter argue that the current “prohibition in state law ‘against taking any action to implement’ REAL ID or directly address the remaining unmet standards” meaning that the state has a lot to work to ensure compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005.  Until the state takes the legal action necessary to ensure REAL ID can be fully implemented and the state can be compliant, the Department of Homeland Security will not grant the state’s request for an extension.

Luckily for the state of Minnesota, should Minnesota enact legislation “authorizing compliance with the REAL ID Act” by bridging the legal gap that currently exists, then the state may once again request an extension, and the Department of Homeland Security may grant it.

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Blake Kraussel