Federal officials said Wednesday that they have granted Minnesota another extension for Real ID enforcement.
The state Department of Licensing announced the news Wednesday, and Department of Homeland Security's REAL ID website showing the current status of each state has been updated.
Meanwhile, the SCDMV continues to work towards issuing REAL ID licenses and IDs. Since the current extension will expire October 10, 2018 she says another extension will be needed, "Just to be sure that we have adequate time to get to that January 1 2019 to issue those cards". During this time, Montana drivers' licenses are accepted by the Transportation Security Administration to board domestic, commercial flights and access federal facilities.
"Focus now shifts to the troubled MNLARS system to ensure the implementation of the REAL ID law moves forward and a REAL ID is in the hand of any Minnesotan who wants one", Smith said.
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It is anticipated that this is the last extension request the state will have to submit. Montana residents will have the option of choosing a Real ID compliant identification. The alternative was another federally issued identification, like a passport. It said more than 65,000 South Carolinians have already done this.
That's been an open question for years as the state has struggled to satisfy the federal Real ID Act.
MVD has partnered with Montana State University Billings to develop a public information campaign to relay information to the public regarding REAL ID compliance. Once the state is certified compliant, there will be no need for additional extension requests. MSU-B has agreed to develop the campaign free-of-charge, with the state only shouldering costs for student materials, research, advertisement printing and on-air ad placement.