Real ID Upgrade Debate Turns to Cost Versus Comfort
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Some lawmakers are pressing to upgrade Minnesota driver's licenses pronto to meet federal standards. State officials say it will pay to wait.
That's because of an ongoing overhaul of the state's driver's license and vehicle registration system. Forging ahead to implement Real ID licenses this year may cost $5 million due largely to the outdated current system.
Dawn Olson is managing the upgrades to the ID system. She told lawmakers Friday that waiting until that's complete until would make it easier and would cut out hefty set-up costs.
The stakes are high because Minnesota's old cards won't be accepted for domestic flights as soon as early 2018. Republican Rep. Dennis Smith says lawmakers should dispel any doubt and push ahead to upgrade Minnesota's driver's licenses this fall.