Real ID shouldn’t be a puzzler

Minnesota has been recalcitrant when it comes to the federal government’s Real ID requirements. The Real ID Act, designed to upgrade drivers license information to increase security, was passed in 2005. States were given plenty of time to comply and bring their IDs up to snuff but a lot of Minnesota legislators just said no, even passing a law in 2009 forbidding state officials from talking to the federal government about the idea.

As the deadline neared and the risk came that Minnesotans might not be able to board commercial flights with their state drivers licenses, legislators reluctantly decided, “Well, all right.”

This year the old ban was repealed and on Monday the State Senate passed a bill to study how to upgrade the IDs. If the House passes it, someone will come up with a plan for the IDs, which then will need to be approved.

We can’t imagine it should take much study. Minnesota is one of only five states who haven’t yet upgraded their drivers licenses. A quick survey of the other 45 states, and a call to the feds (which had been banned by the 2009 law) should answer most questions.

We are hopeful that the Legislature can handle this issue, at least, without getting bogged down in bipartisanship.