- Associated Press - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota House overwhelmingly approved a bill Tuesday night that sets in motion necessary upgrades to Minnesota driver’s licenses.

The measure was approved in a 125-to-2 vote.

Rep. Dennis Smith, R-Maple Grove, told reporters before the House met that the bill would launch a study on how to comply with the federal Real ID Act. Upgraded licenses will be necessary to board domestic flights by October 2020.

The measures are part of a plan to eventually adopt upgrades to state licenses later this session, “so Minnesotans can continue to fly and have access to federal buildings and have entrance to military facilities throughout our country,” Smith said.

Minnesota is one of just five states that haven’t upgraded its IDs to meet the national standards. Though federal officials won’t start checking for the upgraded IDs at airport gates for a few years, legislative leaders want a new system in place by this fall so Minnesota residents can get their current licenses replaced in their normal, four-year renewal period.

House GOP spokeswoman Susan Closmore says the House amended the Senate version of the bill at the governor’s request to give the Department of Public Safety a little more time to gather information for lawmakers looking at the changes. The Senate will need to approve the amended measure before it heads to Gov. Mark Dayton; Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk has said the chamber will.

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