For citizens to use driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards for official purposes, the license must comply with the requirements of the REAL ID Act. Minnesota is one of very few states that has yet to fall into line with the requirements of the act. The requirement for compliant licenses becomes effective on January 22, 2018. As of that date, Minnesota citizens without compliant licenses will be required to use another form of acceptable identification. DHS has posted answers to Frequently Asked Questions here.
Last month the Minnesota House passed a bill that would bring the state into compliance with the requirements of the act last month and that would prevent issuance of licenses to illegal immigrants as a matter of law. This past Monday the bill failed in the Senate, where Republicans hold a one-vote majority, when a few GOP votes peeled off and Democrats opposed the bill without a provision authorizing issuance of licenses to illegal immigrants.
Senate Democrats followed the lead of Governor Dayton, who asked them to oppose the bill without a provision authorizing licenses for illegal immigrants. The Star Tribune reported on the bill’s failure here.
The News Tribune actually has the temerity to say out loud: “[T]hose who choose to be here illegally ought to be encouraged to follow proper channels and obtain citizenship. Their place outside the law shouldn’t be accommodated with things like state-issued driver’s licenses.” The editors of the Star Tribune supported the bill in issue, but they are neither so reasonable nor so blunt.
The Democrats have their priorities and Mark Dayton is a specimen Democrat. Democrats treat illegal immigrants as a critical component of their base.