The deadline to get a new, enhanced REAL ID in Minnesota had been coming up in under 6 months, but you now don't have to worry about it until 2023.

Minnesota was late to the party when it comes to REAL IDs anyway

Minnesota was one of the last states in the country to start issuing the new, enhanced REAL IDs. State lawmakers originally were concerned about protecting your identity, given the extra level of paperwork needed to get the new IDs, but once they realized the federal government was going to require flyers in the U.S. to have them ANYWAY, they finally relented and started issuing them a few years ago.

The deadline here in Minnesota for having you have a  REAL ID (which, here in Minnesota could be your driver's license or stand-alone state ID card) in order to board any domestic flight or gain entry into any federal property was October 1st.

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But wait-- there's now another REAL ID extension!

That's right-- the Department of Homeland Security just extended that deadline another 19 months until May of 2023. And, that's the second time the US DHS has handed out an extension; in March of 2020, when the pandemic was just starting, DHS rolled back the deadline a year from October 1, 2020, until October 1, 2021. Now it's being pushed back again.

So why is the REAL ID deadline being extended this time?

The reason, according to this CNN story, is, of course, ongoing impacts from the coronavirus. The story says the pandemic has caused "limited operating capacity at state driver's licensing agencies, which has delayed renewals of expiring licenses."

So, now you won't need a REAL ID until May of 2023. Which is kind of amazing, given that Congress first passed the REAL ID Act back in 2005-- which, by the time the new deadline takes effect, will be 18 years later!

How to get a REAL ID in Minnesota

I applied for a new REAL ID at the Olmsted County at Government Center in Rochester when my license expired last November. Their new online check-in system made it REALLY easy, though it still takes about 2 months from the time you apply until you get your new ID in the mail. I applied in November and got my new ID in January.
If you're not sure if you want a REAL ID (even once the deadline is here,  you can still board a flight with a valid passport), click here to use Minnesota's online Help Me Choose a License/ID tool to decide which driver’s license or ID card is the best fit for you.
Speaking of flying, though, if you're looking to head out and get your toes in the water and your, uh, butt in the sand, keep scrolling to check out some of the Best Beach Towns in America!

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LOOK: Here are the 50 best beach towns in America

Every beach town has its share of pluses and minuses, which got us thinking about what makes a beach town the best one to live in. To find out, Stacker consulted data from WalletHub, released June 17, 2020, that compares U.S. beach towns. Ratings are based on six categories: affordability, weather, safety, economy, education and health, and quality of life. The cities ranged in population from 10,000 to 150,000, but they had to have at least one local beach listed on TripAdvisor. Read the full methodology here. From those rankings, we selected the top 50. Readers who live in California and Florida will be unsurprised to learn that many of towns featured here are in one of those two states.

Keep reading to see if your favorite beach town made the cut.

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