Minnesotans can begin the process of obtaining a REAL ID compliant card on October 1, but Officials are stressing that residents have until 2020 to do so after the federal government granted an extension.

“So nobody needs to come in on October 1. It would just be the folks that are renewing their license as part of their normal process, or maybe they’ve gotten a name change or have moved and need to update their address,” says Blue Earth County Director of Taxpayer Services Mike Stalberger.

The extension means Minnesota residents can still use their standard license until October 1, 2020, to board domestic flights or enter government buildings. The new REAL ID’s establish minimum security standards, meaning Minnesotan’s will need to provide additional documentation to prove their identity, date of birth and legal presence in the United States.

“Then what they need to do is have something that proves their social security number and something that proves their actual residency in Minnesota. So there’s a long list of items that are eligible to prove those sorts of things. Social security number or card helps us with that, a passport helps us with that, a certified birth certificate will help us with that, credit card statement, property tax statement that shows that you are a homesteader of property. Those are all things that people can bring in to help the proofs required for REAL ID.”

With the added process to obtain a REAL ID, Stalberger says they are planning for that extra time spent with residents.

“With the REAL ID now, it becomes more of an interview and questionnaire sort of process. So, it is gonna add some time to our process. Also with the rollout of REAL ID, the state is rolling out a new computer system for the driver’s licenses. So that also is changing our process there, where we don’t have the ability to just kind of take a paper application as much anymore, again it is a little bit more of a back and forth conversation with the customers.”

For more information on documentation need to obtain a REAL ID, head to http://www.blueearthcountymn.gov/realid.